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Specifics due soon on luring investors to 12 fields

By HU YONGQI | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-26 08:50

Specific favorable measures will be released next month to open up 12 key fields, such as new energy vehicles, as part of China's 22 measures to attract foreign investment, senior officials said on Friday.

In the 12 key areas, restrictions on foreign investment will be reduced to lower the market access threshold, Vice-Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen said at a news briefing hosted by the State Council Information Office on Friday. "Specifics of the timetable will be released by the end of September," he said.

For example, foreign capital currently can hold no more than 50 percent of shares of joint-venture companies in the 12 fields, but the proportion will be increased, Wang said. The fields also include ship design, aircraft maintenance, maritime transportation, banking, securities and insurance, he added.

He said the negative-list management that has been tested in pilot free trade zones will be applied nationwide. Negative lists specify banned or restricted practices.

The negative list for foreign investors now restricts only 95 items-half the number of items in the first piloted version in the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone-to relax the conditions for foreign capital, he said.

To tackle rising competition for foreign capital, the State Council released a guideline on Aug 16 to promote foreign investments. Other measures include exemption of withholding taxes levied on profits earned by foreign-invested companies in China.

The withholding tax, whose rate in China is 10 percent, will be exempted for profits earned by foreign companies in China if the profits are used to reinvest in another project, instead of being transferred to the home country, said Wang Jianfan, director of the department of tax policies of the Ministry of Finance.

Meanwhile, access to visas and work permits will be eased to facilitate entry of high-level professionals from overseas, said Zhang Jianguo, administrator of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs.

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