China says to push forward opening up of financial, manufacturing sectors


Beijing has repeatedly vowed to further open up the country’s markets to foreign investment

China will ease ownership limits for foreign investors in its financial sector in 2020, a year earlier than scheduled, and push forward opening up of its manufacturing sector including the auto industry, Premier Li Keqiang said on July 2.

The Chinese government will further ease ownership limits in more sectors while reducing its negative investment list for foreigners, Li said at the World Economic Forum in the northeastern Chinese port city of Dalian.

China will also actively promote imports of goods and services, he said.

Beijing has repeatedly vowed to further open up the country’s markets to foreign investment, although foreign businesses still complain progress has been slow and foreign investment in many industries is still restricted while fresh promises of greater access do little more that repeat earlier pledges.

On Sunday, China cut the number of sectors subject to foreign investment restrictions in a widely expected move, after the United States and China agreed to restart trade talks in another attempt to strike a deal and end a bruising tariff war.

The number of sectors and subsectors on the negative list was cut to 40 from 48 in the previous version, which was published in June last year. The new list takes effect on July 30.

On Saturday, leaders of the Group of 20 major economies warned of growing risks to the global economy but stopped short of denouncing protectionism, calling instead for a free and fair trade environment after talks some members described as difficult.

Echoing the sentiment, Li said protectionism is rising, but did not make references to specific economies.

Li did warn that global economic risks are increasing and international trade is slowing.

“Currently, global economic risks are rising somewhat, international investment and trade growth is slowing, protectionism is rising and unstable and uncertain factors are increasing,” Li said.
“We should actively cope with this. Some countries have taken measures including cutting interest rates, or sent clear signals on quantitative easing.”


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