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Xi calls for a more open economy

By ZHANG YUNBI | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-18 06:25

President says new laws needed to make foreign investment easier

China should create a steady, fair and transparent corporate environment and gear up efforts to shape an open economy, President Xi Jinping said.

Xi made the statement at the 16th meeting of the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs on Monday.

The country needs to further tap into foreign investment when it is unfolding supply-side structural reforms, upgrading its economy and catching up with the global developments in science and technology, he noted.

China should accelerate its easing of entry restrictions and share ratio limitations on foreign investment in areas such as nursery and elder care, architecture, accounting, commerce and logistics, e-commerce and the traditional manufacturing and service sectors, Xi said.

Xi said it is hoped the second-largest world economy can use foreign investment negative lists nationwide as soon as possible.

The lists-which identify industries that are closed to overseas investors and make commerce more transparent-have been piloted in some of China's free trade zones.

China should stipulate new fundamental laws regarding foreign investment; review laws, regulations policies and documents regarding foreign investment; and abolish or revise those running against the country's goal of opening up, Xi said.

Speaking about China's foreign trade, Xi said the country should proactively expand imports when stabilizing its exports.

The government should look into lowering tariffs of certain consumer goods and encourage the imports of commodities that offer strong features and advantages.

China should further facilitate free and liberal trade and effectively address problems such as the high cost of imports brought by the existing systems, the complicated procedures for quarantine and customs clearance and the trouble in lodging complaints, Xi said.

Xi said the sequence of opening-up in the financial sector should be arranged reasonably.

Opening-up should be promoted in areas that are helpful with consumer rights and interests, reinforcing orderly competition in finance and preventing financial risks, he said.

The country should further advance the steady internationalization of the renminbi and keep its exchange rate basically stable, he added.

Also, China should match its supervision of the finance sector with the opening-up, and its systems' shortcomings should be addressed, Xi said.

To shape a more open environment for businesses, major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen should gear up reforms and reduce inspections and fines, Xi said.

Lists of fees charged should be drafted, and irregular, excessive, unauthorized or repetitive charges should be banned, Xi said.

Intellectual property is part of a good corporate environment, and the country should boost the quality and efficiency in censoring intellectual property, he said, indicating it would create a more timely manner to bring it to the market.

China should accelerate institution building for intellectual property of emerging areas and sectors, and punishment against intellectual property violation should be tougher to hold the violators accountable, he added.

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