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Nation cuts market access negative list down to 117

By Ouyang Shijia Source: China Daily Updated: 2022-03-28


Employees work on the production line of a foreign funded electronics company in Hai'an, Jiangsu province. [Photo by Zhai Huiyong/for China Daily] 

China unveiled a new, shortened negative list for market access on Friday, opening more industries to Chinese and foreign investment, according to the country's top economic regulator.

Experts said the move is a continuation of the country's ongoing efforts to expand market access and introduce greater opening-up.

The National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce jointly released the updated negative list for 2022, which indicates areas where investment is prohibited or restricted; all other areas are presumed to be open. It now comprises 117 items, down from 123 in the 2020 version, according to the NDRC.

"Continuously shortening the negative list highlights the government's ongoing efforts to relax market access, which will help give full play to the decisive role of the market in the allocation of resources and build a new system for a higher-level, open economy," said Cui Weijie, deputy director of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

Cui said that he believes the government will continue to shorten the negative list and expand market access and that the government should make a big push to transform government functions and improve the business climate.

Zhou Maohua, an analyst at China Everbright Bank, had similar thoughts and said China has been working hard to expand market access and opening-up during the past few years. "It's sending a clear signal that China is committed to optimizing the business environment and encouraging foreign investment participation in China's development."

Zhou said that by continuously expanding its opening-up process, the country will promote its high-quality development and offer new business opportunities for global stakeholders, thus giving impetus to the global economy.

The negative list system will allow the government to better coordinate policies, he said, and to further deepen reforms and opening-up and help stabilize the market expectations.

The NDRC and Ministry of Commerce, while requiring more steps to improve the market access system that is in line with the negative list, called for strengthening the anti-monopoly push and preventing disorderly capital expansion.

"It is necessary to take measures to prevent risks while continuously expanding market access," Cui, from the CAITEC, said. "Taking stronger actions against monopoly will help prevent disorderly expansion of capital, its unchecked growth and speculation in the market. That will also help maintain the market order and protect the legitimate rights and interests of consumers and relevant market entities."

Jeffery Liu, vice-president of Corning Inc, attributed China's economic success over the last four decades to its strategic approach that focuses on openness, collaboration, sharing, innovation and sustainability.

"A stable macroeconomic environment and unwavering commitment to further reform and opening-up are crucial for us to make long-term investment decisions," he said.