Li Keqiang: China to Open up More Fields and Offer More Convenient Entrance for Foreign Investments

On September 9, 2015, when having a discussion with representatives of Chinese and foreign entrepreneurs attending the Summer Davos Forum in Dalian, Premier Li Keqiang stated that China will open up more fields and offer more convenient entrance for foreign investments.

When answering a question raised by Arif Naqvi, the founder and CEO of Abraaj Group of the UAE, Li Keqiang stated that China’s general policy for utilizing foreign investments will not change, but the specific policies are being revised with an aim to attract more foreign investments and open up more fields. For example, this year, China has continued to expand sectors for foreign investments, lifting constraints on 50% restricted foreign investment projects. To facilitate foreign investments, the approval system has basically been transformed into a filing system, and now only 5% of the projects are left to be approved. Meanwhile, China is also promoting the management model of pre-establishment national treatment (PENT) with a negative list.

Li Keqiang said that China is also carrying out BIT negotiations with the US and the EU, and FTA negotiations with many other countries, therefore, more fields will be opened up and more convenient entrance will be offered in China for foreign investments. In fact, China’s capacity of attracting foreign investments is enhancing. Despite the unfavorable global investment situation this year, foreign investment in China still increased by 7.7% in the first half of 2015.

Li Keqiang expressed that China is currently implementing an innovation-driven strategy, advancing “Mass Entrepreneurship and Innovation”. Such strategy brings along a requirement to protect intellectual property rights (IPR) and to forge a level-playing business environment where foreign-funded companies in the form of joint venture or sole proprietorship registered in China as well as Chinese companies will be treated equally. But I am not saying that the IPR of the jointly or solely funded foreign companies registered elsewhere can be infringed. It is unacceptable for either the Chinese law or the international justice.

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