14 Dec 2016
Public Views Sought on New Nationwide “Negative List”
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) jointly released a draft of the new Catalogue for the Guidance of Foreign Investment Industries on 7 December. All relevant parties and members of the public are invited to submit their comments and suggestions on the proposed amendments made to the 2015 edition of the Catalogue. The deadline for submissions is 6 January 2017.
According to the announcement on NRDC’s website, the new Negative List will be a trimmed-down version of the existing one.
First introduced in 1995, the Catalogue has been updated six times better to meet the changing needs of China’s economic development and opening-up efforts prior to the current exercise. Thanks to the fresh round of sweeping liberalisation adopted last year, the number of restrictive measures contained in the 2015 edition of the Catalogue had already been slashed from 93 to 62. The 93 restrictive measures had included equity ratio restrictions under the encouraged category (19), as well as items under the restricted category (38) and prohibited category (36).
Among these, the key service sectors to be liberalised include highway passenger transport, tally for foreign vessels, credit investigations and ratings services. The key manufacturing sectors to be opened up include equipment for railway transportation, automobile electronic devices, battery for new-energy vehicles, motorcycles, edible oils, deep processing of corn, and fuel ethanol. China will also ease foreign investment access to mining sectors such as unconventional oil and gas, precious metals and lithium ores.
Furthermore, the new Catalogue will incorporate the provisions contained in Announcement No. 22 of 2016 jointly released by the NDRC and MOFCOM in relation to the special administrative measures (“negative list”) for foreign investment access, namely the equity ratio requirements under the encouraged category, as well as items under the restricted category and prohibited category. In other words, the new Catalogue will serve as a unified negative list.
Clearly, all eyes are on the new nationwide negative list, the scope of which is going to determine the ease of investors’ access in future. With the prevailing policy preferences for greater foreign investment access in China, the trend looks set to continue.
For details of the new Catalogue (draft for comment) in Chinese, please see: