4. Creating a more attractive environment for foreign investment
China makes efforts to create a favorable and orderly investment environment, ease market access for foreign investment, further simplify the administrative procedures on access to foreign investment, build pilot free-trade zones (FTZs) with high standards, and better promote and protect foreign investment. China works to improve an investment climate that conforms to international rules, facilitates foreign investment and is based on the rule of law, and to make its market more transparent and better regulated. These efforts will help attract more foreign investment into China and ensure its effective utilization.
By March 2018, all items for non-administrative license approval had been cancelled, and items for administrative approval had decreased by 44 percent as compared to March 2013. The number of investment projects by enterprises subject to verification of the central government had been reduced by 90 percent. China has comprehensively reformed its systems for business registration and registered capital, rolled out the subscribed capital registration system, and revoked 87 percent of the items subject to examination and approval preceding the industrial and commercial registration. The time for business establishment has been shortened by at least one third. In order to alleviate the burden on businesses, China is advancing the reform of the negative list for market access, promoting the concept of "everything that is not forbidden is allowed", and reinforcing the impartiality of law enforcement.
China will continue with the reform to streamline administration, lower taxes, and reduce fees. China will further align its business environment with international economic and trade rules, enhance policy transparency, strengthen the protection of property rights, advance the rule of law, encourage competition and oppose monopoly. The enactment of the Law on Foreign Investment will be expedited to build a legal system for foreign investment that meets the needs of reform and opening-up in the new era, elevate opening-up to a higher level, push for deeper reform in the foreign investment administration system, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investment and foreign investors. The threshold will be lowered for foreign talents to work and start their own businesses in China. In addition, China will improve various development zones, build the pilot FTZs with high standard and good quality, and explore the construction of free-trade ports with Chinese characteristics.
5. Regulating outward investment
China encourages its enterprises to abide by local laws, fulfill corporate social responsibilities and observe business principles and international practices when they do business in host countries and conduct outward investment cooperation. China will continue to promote the sustainable, reasonable, orderly and sound development of outward investment, and effectively prevent risks of all kinds. Meanwhile, in order to create a more equitable, transparent and predictable environment for foreign investment, China calls on host countries to refrain from abusing security review or adopting other restrictive practices to impose excessive limitations on foreign investment.
6. Advancing the Free Trade Area Strategy
The multilateral trading system and regional trade arrangement are the two wheels driving economic globalization forward. China upholds the multilateral trading system and promotes free trade arrangements. By May 2018, China had signed 16 free trade agreements (FTA) with 24 countries and regions. In 2017, trade between China and its FTA partners (excluding Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Macao Special Administrative Region, and Taiwan Province) accounted for 25.9 percent of China's total foreign trade. In those free trade agreements, basically 90 percent of imported products enjoy duty free treatment, and approximately 120 service sectors have been opened to foreign suppliers, compared to 100 service sectors in China's commitments to the WTO at the time when China joined the organization.
Committed to advancing economic globalization and safeguarding free trade, China is negotiating with relevant parties the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership for its early conclusion and implementation, and is accelerating the building of Free Trade Area of Asia-Pacific and East Asia Economic Community. With all these efforts, China will build a high standard network of free trade areas, focusing on the neighboring areas, radiating across the Belt and Road and open to the world.