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New version negative list to further promote opening-up

China.org.cn | Updated: 2019-12-03 09:31

Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, China, Aug. 25, 2019. [Photo/VCG]

China has released a shorter version of the nationwide negative list for market access, in a move to further promote market opening for foreign investors and create a modern market system of opening-up and orderly competition.

Last December, China issued the national negative list of market access (2018 version), marking full implementation of the negative list system of market access.

For industries, fields and businesses not included in the list, all kinds of market entities can enter independently and enjoy equal treatment according to law. The market access management mode is more open, more inclusive and more predictable, realizing "equal rules, equal rights and equal opportunities."

Compared with the 2018 version, the 2019 one features the following aspects:

First, it is more mature, keeping pace with the times in dynamic adjustment. The negative list of market access and the negative list of foreign investment form a unified legal system, and provide an important direct basis for domestic and foreign investors to make investment decisions.

The latest developments over the past 12 months mark that the system has begun to enter the stage of normalization, with the list being constantly updated and upgraded. In terms of system innovation, the release of the 2019 version undoubtedly lays a solid foundation for future exploration and development.

Second, it has been much improved, fully implementing the commitment to "one list for the whole country." The latest version is the first annual revision of the entire system of market access since its full implementation.

On the whole, this revision further optimizes the structure and relevant contents of the list framework on the basis of maintaining stability and continuity. The shortened list contains 131 administrative measures on investment, a reduction of 20 (13%) from the 2018 version.

There have been many varieties of negative listing developed by different provinces in the past, confusing investors. The newly-released version strengthens national list integration, including the "negative list of industrial access of local key ecological functional areas and main agricultural product production areas."

So far, the national market access management measures such as industrial structure, government investment, internet and main functional areas have all been included, and the "national one list" system has been considerably improved.

Another highlight of the 2019 version is that it includes all legal and effective access measures. For example, the newly-established market access measures are included in a timely manner, and newly-established market access measures such as "registration of initial public offering of shares on the Science and Technology Innovation Board" is included to ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of the list.

Third, it is more transparent, promoting better implementation. The 2019 version adds two new columns of "event code" and "department in charge" to each item in the list, which means the latter handling each measure are clearly listed.

This will help market entities to clearly grasp the identity of the government service departments handling market access; it will also help regulate the management of such access as a whole and at a macro level.

Meshing with the national integrated online government service platform, each item is given a unique identification code, laying the foundation for the realization of list items becoming "clear at a glance, all in one."

As China faces increased uncertainties at home and abroad, the country is expected to make full use of its advantage in large market size to the full and advance high-quality economic development. The shortened nationwide negative list for market access shows its commitment to further opening up its market and its efforts to provide equal treatment to domestic and foreign market entities.

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