China plans cutting negative list to attract foreign investors

The negative list lays out the specific industries in which foreign investors are not permitted to operate.


A robotic arm picks up components, automatically installing them and fastening screws at ZTE's smart factory in Nanjing, Jiangsu province on May 19, 2023. PHOTO: XINHUA/ CHINA DAILY

September 4, 2023

BEIJING – China will reduce the number of items on the negative list for foreign investment and boost the openness level in modern services, said the country’s top commerce official on Sunday.

Addressing a sub-forum at the ongoing 2023 China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing, Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao said the Chinese path to modernization will offer new opportunities for global development. China’s doors of openness will only grow wider, welcoming businesses from all countries to actively invest in China, including investments in the service sector.

The negative list lays out the specific industries in which foreign investors are not permitted to operate.

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Echoing that sentiment, Dominic Johnson, minister of state of the United Kingdom’s Department for Business and Trade, said his country is ready to meet further the market demand of China’s service industry and its vast consumer market.

Given the challenges the global economy faces, the British official said “the world will be a far better place with the UK and China collaborating and cooperating more closely together”.

Thanks to its vast market and well-developed industrial system, coupled with favorable policies to expand opening-up, China saw foreign direct investment from the UK jump 159.9 percent year-on-year in the first seven months of 2023, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed.

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“British companies’ investments in China include some of the largest firms in their respective fields, spanning industries from banking to pharmaceuticals,” said Johnson, noting this bilateral collaboration has ushered in a multitude of opportunities benefiting both countries.

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