Foreign investors' market access to expand
China will substantially broaden market access for foreign investors and allow them to have controlling or full ownership in more business sectors to push for a higher level of opening, a senior official said on November 1.
The country will accelerate the opening of sectors including finance, telecommunications, education, healthcare and culture and will promote greater liberalization of trade and investment, said Han Wenxiu, deputy director of the Office of Central Commission for Financial and Economic Affairs.
Han made the comments at a news conference in Beijing following the conclusion of the Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th Communist Party of China Central Committee. The meeting has set the tone for the country's future policies on modernizing the country's system and capacity for governance.
The Foreign Investment Law, which aims to better protect the legitimate rights of foreign businesses, will be effective next year. By implementing the law, China will promote fair competition between foreign and domestic companies, step up the protection of intellectual property rights and corporate secrets and foster a market-oriented, law-based business environment, Han said.
Han added that China will also speed up the construction of free trade zones and ports and will vigorously promote high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative to boost foreign trade.
The key Party meeting, which concluded on Thursday, highlighted the strength of China's system and outlined the country's future development path through further modernization of its governance system. In the economic fields, the central leadership pledged to uphold and improve China's basic socialist economic system and promote the high-quality development of the economy.
The country will "unswervingly" reinforce and develop the public economy and "unswervingly" encourage and support the growth of the private economy, according to a communique released after the meeting.
China will work to ensure that the government plays a better role and creates better synergy between the "visible and invisible hands", Han said. He added that the country will further improve the system to foster innovation and technological progress and push the development of advanced manufacturing.
The country will also deepen reform of State-owned enterprises, improve the modern corporate system with Chinese characteristics and boost the competitiveness and innovative capability of SOEs, Han said.
Yang Weiyong, an associate professor of economics at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, said the leadership should continue to allow the market to play the decisive role while the government should further improve laws and regulations and its roles in macroeconomic adjustment.
Liu Junhai, director of the Business Law Center at Renmin University of China, said a modern economic system governed by the rule of law and proper government roles will help the country achieve the goal of high-quality development as China's economy sees slower expansion and switches to an innovation and consumption-driven growth model.
"Better economic governance can help further unleash the potential of the private economy and boost business confidence," he said.