China to further improve foreign investment environment (State Council Document N.11, 2023)

2023年8月13日,国务院针对外商投资普遍关注的营商环境问题,发布了《关于进一步优化外商投资环境 加大吸引外商投资力度的意见》。
August 13th, the State Council has issued the “Opinions on Further Optimizing the Foreign Investment Environment and Increasing the Attraction of Foreign Investment” to address prominent issues in the business environment that foreign investment enterprises are concerned about.

The document covers several aspects, including improving the quality of foreign investment utilization and ensuring the national treatment of foreign investment enterprises, a new batch of targeted measures to stabilize foreign investment have been proposed, in order to more effectively boost foreign investment confidence then attract more high-quality foreign investment.

It is outlined a direct link between enhancing the business climate and drawing in overseas capital. It gives prominence to the concept of “enhancing the business environment” prior to discussing the allure of investment. Moreover, it places strong emphasis on enhancing the business atmosphere using bold language, overshadowing the attention given to attracting investments.
As matter of fact, endeavours aimed at investment (called as the “China Investment Year”) can reach the target when substantial enhancements to the business environment will be done as first step.

CNEUCN and its partners welcome the release of the “Opinion”, as the programmatic document to further deepen reforms and opening up, effectively optimize the business environment, and fully stabilize the trade market and foreign investment.

As mentioned in the point 24, the evaluation of foreign investment promotion will be optimized by the establishment a system of evaluation of the effectiveness of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) promotion. The focus will be on the actual contribution of FDI to the economic and social progress.
It’s important also to underline, item 21, the recognition of the importance of promoting linkage mechanism between foreign business associations and agencies, leading enterprises in the industrial chain with the government and the local investment attraction bureaus.

CNEUCN looks forward to be engaged in and have a close cooperation which will provide a fundamental contribution in shaping industrial plan, development strategies and investment policies which could better match with foreign entities expectation and needs.

Among the key contents and targets there are:

Expand the breadth and depth of opening up.
It is planned to increase the strength of comprehensive pilot demonstration and trial in expanding the opening up of the service industry. Encourage foreign-funded enterprises and their established R&D centres to undertake major scientific research projects. Establish and improve the foreign exchange management facilitation system for qualified overseas limited partners.

Improve the level of investment and operation facilitation.
Establish a green channel for qualified foreign-funded enterprises, and efficiently carry out the security assessment of important data and personal information abroad.
Foreign executives and technicians of foreign-invested enterprises and their families shall be provided with entry, exit and residence facilities.
Carry out special inspections to ensure the fair participation of business entities in government procurement activities.
Promote the disclosure of information in the whole process of standard formulation and revision, and support foreign-funded enterprises to participate in standard formulation in accordance with the law and on an equal basis.
Improve the rapid and coordinated protection mechanism for intellectual property rights and speed up the processing of cases with clear facts and conclusive evidence in accordance with the law.

Increase foreign investment guidance.
All regions, within the scope of statutory authority, will be supported to implement supporting incentives to foreign-funded enterprises that meet the requirements of the catalogue of industries for encouraging foreign investment.
Support foreign-invested enterprises in advanced manufacturing and other fields to carry out vocational education and training with vocational colleges and vocational training institutions.
Research on innovative cooperative procurement methods, and support foreign-invested enterprises to innovate and develop world-leading products in China through first-purchase orders and other measures.

Strengthening foreign investment promotion and service.
Encourage all regions to explore a more effective and flexible employment mechanism and salary system for non-civil servants and non-institutional posts in foreign investment promotion departments and teams and strengthen the allocation of foreign investment promotion personnel.
Timely issuing certificates of origin for free trade agreements and provide convenience for foreign-invested enterprises to enjoy tariff reduction and exemption policies.

In the next step, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce will work with relevant departments to speed up the implementation of the “Opinions” on the basis of the policies and measures that have been introduced.

Full text in Chinese at:

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