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Guangdong Open to Foreign Direct Investment and Closer Ties with Hong Kong and Macau

Guangdong has announced plans to reduce restrictions on foreign direct investment in a number of local business sectors, while also confirming its commitment to work more closely with the service sectors of Hong Kong and Macau, particularly within the province’s Pilot Free Trade Zone. The changes were announced in a recent circular issued by the provincial government – Several Policy Measures for Opening Wider to the Outside World and Utilising Foreign Investment Proactively.

In particular, the range of business that can be undertaken by Hong Kong / Macau legal firms (in partnership with a mainland law firm) is to be widened. At the same time, the Hong Kong management model is to be adopted on a trial basis in the construction sector, with routes connecting the mainland and Hong Kong / Macau granted the status of Special Domestic Routes.

In terms of wider-sourced foreign direct investment, greater financial incentives are to be provided to promote the utilisation of foreign capital, while land-use safeguards are to be strengthened and all of the current preferential policies maintained. The overall objectives here are to provide enhanced support for R&D and innovation, ensure additional financial support for priority projects and to recruit a higher level of skilled personnel, while maintaining robust IPR protection. In all instances, the overriding principles are to create a conducive business environment and to provide a level playing field for domestic and overseas enterprises.

While the relevant departments are expected to devise their own specific policies and implementation requirements, five particular measures have been designated as priorities:

  • In the manufacturing sector, the foreign equity cap is to be relaxed for special-purpose and new-energy vehicle businesses.
  • In the services sector, the foreign equity cap is be relaxed with regard to ship design, aircraft maintenance, human resource agencies, international maritime transportation companies, railroad passenger transportation companies, and the construction and operation of gas stations.
  • Overseas investors are to be permitted to invest in business premises / call centres for internet service providers.
  • The regulatory regime with regard to the business scope of wholly foreign-owned performance business brokers is to be relaxed.
  • In the financial sector, restrictions on foreign equity holdings and permitted business scope are to be relaxed in the case of foreign-invested banks, securities companies, securities investment fund management companies, futures companies and life insurance companies.

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

Circular of the People’s Government of Guangdong Province on Several Policy Measures for Opening Wider to the Outside World and Utilising Foreign Investment Proactively (Yue Fu No. 125 [2017])

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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