Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Affected sectors include mining, manufacturing, transportation, commercial services, finance, scientific research and culture.
In June, China’s State Council, updated the negative list for foreign investment in the country’s 11 free trade zones, removing 27 formerly prohibited items across eight sectors, including the mining, manufacturing, transportation, information, commercial services, finance, scientific research and culture sectors, further relaxing restrictions for foreign businesses.
China's free trade zones are a way of testing new policies to better integrate the economy with international practices. The nation's pilot free trade zones have expanded from the first in Shanghai in 2013 to the current number of 11 across the country.
More market space to foreign companies carrying out business related to those sectors will be offered in these zones. For example, in manufacturing, foreign companies are allowed to produce their own rail transport facilities instead of having to set up joint ventures with local firms. Rules were also eased for foreign companies manufacturing electric vehicles and related products.
Following this new list, the Chinese government also released a document that deepens the reform in the financial services sector since the government introduced a package of 40 measures to boost capital account convertibility and facilitate cross-border trade and investment in 2015.
According to the new rules, foreign banks can now sell and underwrite government bonds, and there is no longer a restriction for international ratings agencies to carry out their business, in the Shanghai free trade zone. There is now no mandatory review or approval for transactions by foreign insurers in the zone.
The latest document stipulates that the proportion of foreign capital in a securities firm cannot exceed 49 percent. The limit on shares held by a foreign investor in a listed domestic brokerage remains unchanged, at 20 percent for a single investor and 25 percent in all.
Experts say the revision constitutes as a significant move by China to open its economy amid a global environment of rising protectionism.