Since September of 2016, the Chinese government has adopted a series of measures to reshape its FDI regime, signaling its determination to strengthen efforts to attract moreforeign investments in the coming years. As a significant move,the State Council passed theCircular on Measures for FurtherOpening Up andActiveUse of Foreign Investment(the “Circular”)on December 28, 2016, which purports to further relax the curbs on foreign investment to boost the economic transformation and industries upgrading and transfer in order to adapt to the new domestic and abroad economic situation. The text of the Circular willbe officially released to the public shortly. But in a recent press briefing of the State Council, some highlights of the Circular have been revealed.According to the highlights revealed in the press briefing, the Circular laysfoundation for the future foreign investment policies in the following aspects:
Opening UpMore Sectors to Foreign Investment
The Catalogue for Foreign Investment Industries Guidance(“Catalogue”) and corresponding laws, regulations and policieswill be updated to accommodate the new economic ecology and development trend. The Circular proposes to further lift the foreign investment restrictions in the sectors includingservice, manufacturing and mining.Specifically:
For financial services sector, the Circularproposes tofurther loosen restrictions on foreign investment in banking, insurance, securities and futures market trading industries; to lift limitations on the sectors of accounting and audit, architecturaldesign, credit-ratingservices; and to gradually open the markets of somesensitive sectors such as telecommunication, internet, culture, education and transportation.
For manufacturing sector, the Circular contemplates to remove the foreign investment restrictions on railway transportation equipment, motorcycles,fuel ethanol, andfats and oils.
For mining sector, the restrictions on shale oil, oil sand