The National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Commerce released a shortened negative list on June 28, cutting down the restriction provisions for foreign investments from 63 to 48.
The policy will take effect on July 28, and is the latest policy as part of China's opening-up measures.
A negative list is a list of areas where investment is prohibited, and the shortening of the list is a signal to foreign investors that China is open wider for business.
Restrictions in sectors such as finance, infrastructure, transportation, commercial trade, culture, automobiles, shipping, aviation, agriculture, energy and minerals have been lifted.
Foreign investors are also allowed to now invest in gas stations, and firms involved in the production of crop seeds excluding wheat and corn, graphite exploration, rare earth metallurgy, and numerous other areas.
At present, foreign investors are not allowed to independently invest in securities, funds management, futures, and life insurance firms. They are only allowed to hold a certain proportion of shares for such a company. The new negative list increases the proportion they can invest in to 51 percent. By 2021, the proportion will rise to 100 percent, which means foreign investors will be free to independently invest in such firms by then.
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