Business / Industries

Beijing service sector opened wider to foreign investment

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-10-28 13:20

BEIJING - China has relaxed market entry rules to allow more foreign investment in businesses in Beijing in the service sector of travel, aircraft maintenance and event promotion.

Travel agencies with joint Chinese and foreign ownership are now allowed to provide services to Chinese traveling abroad and to Hong Kong and Macao, according to a statement issued by the State Council, China's cabinet, on Tuesday. Agencies with mixed ownership were previously barred from providing these services.

A restriction saying that Chinese capital must take a controlling stake in aircraft maintenance projects in Beijing has been lifted, and promoters with full foreign ownership can now operate in the municipality, the State Council said.

The rules will remain relaxed until at least May 5, 2018.

In May, the central government announced that Beijing would be allowed to pilot policies opening the service industry wider to foreign investment.

The program covers six relatively mature service areas: science and technology, Internet and information services, culture and education, business and travel, financial services, health and medical services.

Liu Haiquan, an official with the Ministry of Commerce, said the relaxations could be rolled out nationwide if they help Beijing improve its services.

The city attracted foreign investment contracts worth $27.11 billion in the first three quarters of 2015, according to official data.

Recognizing the service sector's huge growth potential, China has taken gradual steps to accelerate its development, liberalizing the finance, education, culture and medical treatment sectors in particular.

During the January-September period, the value added of the service sector accounted for 51.4 percent of GDP, up 2.3 percentage points from the same period last year.

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