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Negative list on foreign investment to be further shortened

Updated: Mar 12,2020 11:36 AM

Efforts must be intensified to shorten the negative list on foreign investment, Premier Li Keqiang said at the State Council executive meeting on March 10, where decisions were made to take multiple measures to keep foreign trade and investment stable.

Noting that the Chinese economy has been deeply integrated into the world economy, the Premier said further opening-up is necessary to balance the prevention and control of the epidemic, and economic and social development.

“We must implement targeted policies to arrest the slide in foreign trade and foreign investment," Premier Li said.

The shortened negative list for access of foreign investment should be launched earlier than in previous years to clearly demonstrate our firm resolve and confidence in opening-up, he added.

In addition, the Premier said, current barriers and restrictions on the flow of people and logistics are temporary, and China’s door of opening-up will be wider and the pace will be faster after the epidemic.

The Premier also stressed that the China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) this spring should be taken as one of the important measures to keep foreign trade and investment stable.

He urged related departments to make preparations for the fair while paying close attention to the outbreak at home and abroad.

“We must try our utmost to expand foreign trade,” he said.

It was also decided at the meeting that all export tax rebates must be made in full without delay, except on energy intensive, polluting, and resource products.

Financial institutions will be encouraged to increase foreign trade loans, fully deliver the policy of loan deferment in both principal and interest, and consider further rolling over, through consultations, the loans made to smaller firms deeply affected by the outbreak yet holding promising prospects.

Commercial insurance companies will be supported in offering short-term export credit insurance services and lowering premium rates.

Recent tax and fee relief policies designed to help companies in difficulty should equally apply to both domestic and foreign-invested enterprises.