Region/Countries: Asia, China Industry: Multiple Sectors Date: March 2019

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Premier Li Keqiang also announced measures to further open the economy to foreign investment.

China will further open up its economy to foreign investors and offer them treatment equal to that of domestic companies, with firm protection of their legal rights, Premier Li Keqiang said at the Boao Forum for Asia in March. By the end of June, China has committed to release the amended negative lists for foreign investment access. The negative lists will be shortened, and will specify areas where investment is prohibited, with all other areas presumed to be open. The government has started formulating matching regulations and rules to support implementation of the Foreign Investment Law, adopted two weeks ago, and has announced that supporting regulations will take effect along with the law on Jan. 1, 2020.

The draft amendment to the patent law has been submitted to China's top legislators. It sharply increases compensation for infringement to a cost that violators will not be able to afford. The draft law prohibits government officials from unfairly forcing technologies to be transferred, and treats foreign and domestic investors in exactly the same manner. The complaint mechanism for foreign companies will be improved to facilitate exchanges and coordination between the government and investors, providing an effective way to protect the legal rights of foreign companies.

China also intends to further open up its financial sector and accelerate the process of lowering the market access threshold for foreign investments in banking, securities and insurance, the premier said. Service sectors including medical care and education will be opened up, along with transportation, infrastructure and energy. China will also make it easier for foreign companies to set up a venture capital presence and will improve the regulations regarding foreign investors’ strategic investments in listed companies and their mergers with and acquisitions of domestic enterprises. Preferential policies for investments from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan will remain unchanged, and enhanced development opportunities will be offered for them.