Los Angeles, CA – Beijing has announced its given the go-ahead to the construction of three new foreign trade zones in Guangdong, Fujian and Tianjin, all modeled on the zone set-up in Shanghai last year.
Officials said the new FTZ will apply “replicable” practice from Shanghai in investment, trade and financial services to the rest of the country and shorten the “negative list” – the sectors where foreign investment is banned or restricted, the cabinet said.
Announcement of the new FTZs comes on the heels of Beijing’s proposed cutting from 79 to 35 the number of sectors restricted or off limits to foreign investors.
After one month for soliciting opinions, the new guidelines will be submitted to the State Council and are expected to come into force by the end of the year.
Sectors with reduced restrictions include steel, ethylene, refining, papermaking, coal chemical equipment, automotive electronics, lifting appliances, electric transmission and transformation equipment, branch railway lines, subways, international ocean shipping, e-commerce, finance companies and chain stores, according to government sources in Beijing.
In addition, the number of sectors currently limited to joint ventures and partnerships has been cut from 43 to 11, while those requiring a majority Chinese investment have been cut from 44 to 22.
Agriculture, high technology, advanced manufacturing, energy efficiency and environmental protection, new energy and modern service industries are encouraged, the sources said.
From January to September of this year, the value of China’s foreign direct investment decreased by 1.4 per cent to $87.3 billion from the same period the year before.