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China Cuts Import Tariffs and Bolsters Access and Support for Overseas Investors

Overseas investors are to get improved market access, while their legitimate interests are to be better protected, according to a number of decrees issued by the State Council in the wake of its 30 May executive meeting. During the same session, it was also resolved that the import duty payable on a range of consumer products will be significantly reduced.

Overall, the meeting resulted in four legal amendments likely to have a significant impact on the business community:

Widened Market Access

The restrictions that currently apply to overseas investment in a number of areas, including the automotive, maritime and aerospace manufacturing sectors, are to be eased. Furthermore, the procedures for approving qualified foreign investors are to be revised in order to allow participation in the futures trading of oil, iron and other specified commodities.

Revised Investment Negative List

A revised foreign investment negative list is to be issued prior to 1 July 2018.

Improved Protection of Overseas Investors’ Interests

The maximum penalty for all intellectual property right infringements is to be significantly raised, while any incidences of copyright infringement, counterfeiting, violation of commercial secrets or pre-emptive registration of trademarks in bad faith will face far graver censure than in the past.

Reduced Import Tariffs

As of 1 July this year, the import duty on a number of products will be reduced in line with the examples given in the table below:

Product Category Current Rate New Reduced Rate
Clothing, Footwear/Headgear, Kitchen Supplies and Sport/Fitness equipment15.9%7.1%
Washing Machines and Refrigerators20.5%8%
Processed Foods (including Aquaculture, Fish Products and Mineral Water15.2%6.9%
Toiletries, Cosmetics (including Skin and Hair Products) and certain Medical/Health Products8.4%2.9%


For further details (in Chinese), please visit the following link:

Li Keqiang Chairs Executive Meeting of the State Council, Reaffirms Stepping up of Foreign Capital Utilisation and Other Measures

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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