China to grant easier access for foreign capital

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Beijing , Jan 17 (IANS) China on Tuesday announced more measures to attract foreign investment, promising easier access and better environment.

Foreign firms will face fewer restrictions when entering service, manufacturing and mining sectors, said a State Council document, according to Xinhua news agency.

The government will relax entry controls for banks, securities brokerages, and futures and insurance companies, and lift restrictions in rail transport equipment manufacturing, motorcycle production, fuel ethanol, and oil and fat processing.

Thresholds in oil shale, oil sand and shale gas sectors will be lowered for overseas companies.

The document also cited sectors including accounting, architecture design, telecom, internet, culture, education and transport.

Foreign-funded companies will be encouraged to invest in high-end, smart and green manufacturing, participate in infrastructure work in energy, water conservation and environmental protection, and build plants in less-developed central, western and northeastern areas.

China will support foreign companies setting up research and development centres and strengthening cooperation with domestic peers, and will allow them to join national science and technology programs.

To create a sound business environment, the government will beef up protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) and encourage the establishment of IPR arbitration centres in China.

China will allow foreign firms to go public and issue bonds in the Chinese market to expand financing channels.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Chinese mainland maintained steady growth last year on the back of strong investment in the service industry.

FDI rose 4.1 per cent year on year to 813 billion yuan (around $118 billion) in 2016.

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