China to push for more expansion, quality in opening-up

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China will further expand the scope and raise the quality of its opening-up, and the structure, layout, institutions and mechanisms for opening-up will be improved, said a government report on Monday. The draft Report on the Work of the Government said the country will advance international cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.

China will expand industrial capacity cooperation with other countries as this will facilitate Chinese manufacturing and services to go global. It will also improve the composition of outbound investments, as well as expand opening-up in the western region, inland areas and border areas, creating new opportunities for China’s economic cooperation with other countries.

The country will promote steady growth in foreign investments by strengthening alignment with international business rules, and foster a world-class business environment. Under the policy framework, the general manufacturing sector will be completely opened up, and access to sectors such as telecommunications, medical services, education, elder care and new-energy vehicles will be expanded.

China will also phase in an opening-up of bank card clearing and other markets; lift restrictions on the scope of operations of foreign-invested insurance companies; and ease or lift restrictions on the share of foreign-owned equity in companies in sectors including banking, securities, fund management and futures, as well as make market entry standards the same for both domestic and foreign banks.

Overseas investors will be granted tax deferrals for the reinvestment of profits made in China. Procedures for setting up foreign-invested businesses will be simplified, and business filing and registration will be processed together in one go, according to the government report. China will spread the use of practices developed in free trade zones all over the country, and explore opening free trade ports, working toward new heights in reform and opening-up.

The report stressed that China will expand the coverage of export credit insurance, and shave another third off the total time taken for customs clearance and reform the mechanisms for developing trade in services, as well as foster new forms and models of trade. In addition to encouraging processing trade to shift to the central and western region, the country will actively expand imports, host the first China International Import Expo, and lower import tariffs on products including automobiles and certain daily consumer goods.

The report said China is committed to promoting trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. The country is ready to work with all relevant parties to advance multilateral trade negotiations. It also calls for trade disputes to be settled through discussions as equals, opposes trade protectionism and will resolutely safeguard its lawful rights.

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