Move will ease limits on foreign investment
China is drafting a new negative list, which is scheduled to be released by June 30, to further ease the limits for foreign investors, an official from China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Thursday.
Market access restrictions will be eased in sectors including energy, infrastructure, transportation and trade services in the upcoming list, Gao Feng, the spokesperson for MOFCOM, told a press conference on Thursday.
"Restrictions will be further reduced for most foreign investors in the new list. In the meantime, more controls will be imposed on highly polluting foreign companies; China might not welcome these companies in the future," Dong Dengxin, director of the Financial Securities Institute at Wuhan University of Science and Technology, told the Global Times on Thursday.
A series of measures including tariff cuts will form a "collective effect" for China's further opening-up, Dong noted.
China will cut the most-favored-nation tariff rate for some imported daily consumer goods effective from July 1. The cut involves 1,449 items, according to the latest announcement from the State Council, China's cabinet, on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the State Council announced more tariff cuts for imported goods including clothes and washing machines, also effective from July 1.
The average tariff rates for clothes, shoes, hats, kitchenware and sports products will be reduced to 7.1 percent from the current 15.9 percent, while the rate for home appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators will be cut to 8 percent from the current 20.5 percent, according to Wednesday's statement.
Apart from the tariff cuts, the State Council also vowed to encourage foreign investors to participate in the market for futures such as crude oil and iron ore, and to support foreign-invested financial institutions in underwriting local government bonds.
"Financial sectors have seen most of the opening in this round, but it also brings challenges for domestic securities and insurance companies. China must have enough confidence to open sectors that it considered sensitive before," Dong said, adding that the country should also prepare for the coming "foreign investment spree."