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Assistant Minister of Commerce Ren Hongbin said at the press conference of the State Council Information Office on February 24 that the negative list for foreign investment access at the national level and in the pilot free trade zones will be shortened. When will the new negative lists be implemented? What areas will be opened to foreign investment? Thank you.(2020-2-27)

The Foreign Investment Law and its implementation regulation that came into effect early this year establish the foreign investment administration system based on pre-establishment national treatment and negative list. This is a major institutional achievement of China aligning itself with international practices and building an open economy at a higher level. It is also a weathervane for assessing the progress of China鈥檚 reform and opening up by the international community. Since the first negative list for the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone was created in 2013, the Chinese government has revised the lists five times and extended the scope of application from the FTZs to the whole country. The lists have been downsized from initial 190 items to 40 for the national list and 37 for FTZ list. The frequent big revisions to the negative lists fully demonstrate how determined and sincere the Chinese government is when it comes to opening up.
The CPC Central Committee and the State Council take opening up very seriously and made plans for revising the negative lists on many occasions. At the second China International Import Expo, General Secretary Xi Jinping noted that China will open the market wider to foreign capital and continue to shorten the negative lists. The Fourth Plenum of the 19th CPC Central Committee called for efforts to widen, expand and deepen opening up in all aspects and promote opening up in manufacturing, services and agriculture. The Central Economic Work Conference also urged us to promote higher-level opening up and keep narrowing down the negative lists for foreign investment. On February 23, General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out at the work conference on Covid-19 response and economic and social development that we should maintain stable fundamentals of foreign trade and foreign investment and further open up the financial sector and other services.
In accordance with the arrangement of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, the NDRC and MOFCOM have worked with relevant ministries to revise the national and FTZ negative lists since the beginning of this year. Going forward, we will strengthen coordination and collaboration, move faster with the procedures of publishing and implementing the two negative lists and further open up the market for foreign investment so as to provide more investment opportunities for foreign investors.

Thank you!

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