Shanghai released a revised version of negative list today to offer more leeway for foreign investment in the city’s pilot free trade zone.
The 2014 version of negative list cut the number of restrictions on foreign investment in China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone to 139 from the previous 190.
In financial industry, foreign investors are no longer barred from finance companies, trust companies and currency brokers.
The updated list also offers more freedom for foreign participation in the real-estate sector by allowing them to invest in the construction and operation of large-scale wholesale markets for agriculture products.
Wholly foreign-funded project is allowed in land development, which was only open to joint ventures. Foreign investment in real-estate agencies is removed from the off-limits category as well.
Foreign investors in medical institutions are no longer subjected to limits such as a minimum investment amount of 20 million yuan and a maximum operation period of 20 years.
In entertainment industry, the new list scraps the restriction on foreign investment in lottery and gambling areas. Foreign investors are also allowed to invest in Internet bars.
Restrictions on foreign participation in quality inspection service and geological survey are removed from the new list.
First introduced last year after the official launch of the pilot free trade zone, the list specifies all the business areas in which restrictions will remain for foreign enterprises in the zone.
As part of China’s opening up strategy, overseas participants are allowed to invest as freely as their domestic peers in business fields beyond the list.
A registration system has been introduced in the zone for foreign investment in areas that are not singled out in the list. It simplifies procedures and reduces processing time from 29 days to four working days in the zone.