China further eases foreign investment curbs in free trade zones

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China on Saturday further relaxed restrictions imposed on foreign investment in its free trade zones, in the latest step to fulfill its promise to open up the economy.

Publishing a revised ‘negative list’ for investment in the zones, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s top economic planner, said curbs in oil and gas exploration, nuclear fuel production and telecommunications would be eased.

Foreign investors will no longer have to conduct oil and natural gas exploration and development through joint ventures, and a ban on foreign investment in production of nuclear fuel and radioactive minerals will be lifted, the NDRC said in a statement.

Foreign investment limits on breeding of new crop varieties and seed production for wheat and corn will be relaxed, and opening of value-added telecommunications will be expanded from Shanghai’s free trade zone to other zones, it added.

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