February 25, 2019

Ministry to focus on FTZ, free trade port development in 2019

China used 885.6 billion yuan (US$135 billion) of foreign capital in 2018, up 3 percent, while global trans-border investment dropped by 19 percent in the year, according to the conclusions of the 2018 working conference of the Ministry of Commerce.

The ministry will focus on promoting the construction of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone and the city’s Free Trade Port and facilitating the transition from factor flow opening-up to regulation and policy opening-up in 2019, Qian Keming, deputy minister of commerce, said.

At an earlier news briefing held by the ministry, Ren Hongbin, assistant minister of commerce, said the establishment of the FTZ is a milestone for the country’s opening-up and reforms, the ministry will further promote the construction of the FTZ and a free trade port with Chinese characteristics.

Also, the ministry will map out a new section for the FTZ; loosen the special management standards for allowing in foreign investment, introduce more policies to further expand the FTZ and spur innovative development, Ren added.

Tang Wenhong, director of the ministry’s department of foreign investment administration, said the ministry has initiated the revision of the industry directory to attract more foreign investment, directing foreign investment into the country’s modern agriculture, hi-tech, and modern services sectors to achieve high-quality economic development.

The ministry will take advantage of the regional governments’ characteristics and advantages to carry out more tailored and professional events to attract investment, and accelerate the revision of the Patent Law.

In 2019, the ministry will keep broadening market access standards, further implement the pre-establishment national treatment and negative list, and increase the protection of the lawful rights of foreign investors, Tang added.