China will continue to widen market access for foreign investors next year, a commerce ministry official said on Saturday.
The negative list for foreign investment is expected to be further shortened in 2019, said Tang Wenhong, head of foreign investment management department under the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), during the MOFCOM work conference.
The ministry will also push for the lifting of market access restrictions on foreign investment in sectors not on the negative list so as to level the playing field for Chinese companies and foreign enterprises alike, Tang added.
China has adopted a foreign investment administration model of pre-establishment national treatment plus negative list.
As part of its efforts to further open up, the country unveiled a shortened negative list for foreign investment in June, cutting the number of items listed down to 48 from 63 and removing access restrictions in various sectors.
Foreign investment law
The country works to draft a law on foreign investment, which was submitted on Sunday to a bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the country’s top legislature the National People’s Congress (NPC).
Analysts said the law is meant to promote and protect foreign investment, and ensure foreign businesses enjoy fair treatment, which will boost their confidence in the Chinese market.
The draft underlined protection of intellectual property rights of foreign investors and foreign companies, and encouraged voluntary technological cooperation based on business rules.
At the end of November, a total of 950,000 foreign-funded companies became registered in China in line with current laws and brought in more than two trillion U.S. dollars, performing as a major driving force in China’s economic and social development.