Beijing passes regulation to optimize foreign investment environment |
Home   >   Policy Library

Beijing passes regulation to optimize foreign investment environment

  • Xinhua |
  • Updated: Jun 03, 2024
Photo taken on Jan 14, 2024 shows a view of Beijing's Central Business District. [Photo/VCG]

Beijing passed its first special regulation on foreign investment on Friday, representing the Chinese capital's latest effort to promote further opening up and boost its appeal to global investors.

This regulation was passed on Friday at the 10th session of the Standing Committee of the 16th Beijing Municipal People's Congress, the local legislature. It is scheduled to become effective on July 1.

The highlights of this regulation involve efforts to promote the secure and orderly cross-border flow of data. In addition, the Beijing municipality governments at all levels are bound to honor promises made in the fields of foreign investment, and the regulation outlines the repercussions for breaching such commitments.

While some US politicians are busy building a "wall of opposition" and jabber about the need to "decouple" and "de-risk" from China, Beijing, along with other major Chinese investment hubs such as Shanghai and Shenzhen, are introducing measures to share their development opportunities with the world.

As one of the first multinational pharmaceutical companies to enter the Chinese market, French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi established its first office in China in 1982. Over the decades, it has expanded its presence to more than 2,000 counties and cities across the country.

In response to the challenges of cross-border data flow faced by international enterprises, local authorities in Beijing have consulted extensively with companies, including Sanofi, before introducing the new regulation. The regulation aims to promote the safe and orderly cross-border flow of data by formulating general data lists and important data lists in the pilot free trade zone.

"The introduction of the regulation is timely and has received a positive response among foreign companies," said Helen Zhu, vice president of Sanofi Greater China. "I am glad to see that our proposal has been adopted."

Deloitte, a well-known international accounting firm, serves as another fine example.

"There is a legal basis for resolving disputes, which serves as a reassurance for us," said Tracy Ma, managing partner of government affairs, Deloitte China Northern Region, reacting to the new regulation.

Over the past decade, Deloitte has made significant strides in China. According to Ma, buoyed by confidence in Beijing's improved business environment, Deloitte plans to expand its investment in the city. The firm aims to double its revenue and increase its workforce to 10,000 employees over the next three to five years.

"If enterprises want to develop, they should invest where there is a market. It's not geopolitics that can cut it off. China's big market is there for all to see," Ma said. "China is a blue ocean market that no foreign company wants to give up."

According to Ren Peiwen, an official with Beijing's legislature, this regulation is based on China's Foreign Investment Law, which took effect in 2020, but is more targeted, service-oriented and coordinated.

The regulation includes a dedicated chapter on foreign investment services, detailing a range of measures such as the recognition of overseas vocational qualifications, independent vocational skill level assessments and regular consultations between local governments and foreign enterprises.

"The inclusion of the service package policy in the regulation ensures that this mode of service will continue to be provided in accordance with the law," Ren said.

"This legislation can make the business environment sustainably competitive. It is expected to elevate Beijing's open economy to a higher level," said Kong Qingjiang, dean of the School of International Law, China University of Political Science and Law.

Zhu was impressed by the significant improvement in the service awareness of the local governments towards enterprises in recent years. "Not only are our opinions taken into account every time, but they also follow up regularly on how problems are handled," she said.

According to the British Chamber of Commerce in China, in a survey of over 300 British companies in China, more than 80 percent expressed a willingness to stay in the Chinese market due to its scale and potential. This percentage marks a significant increase from last year's survey.

"Increasing consultation and delivering on implementation from the Chinese government will increase foreign companies' understanding of China's foreign investment environment, which will go a long way in their confidence in the Chinese market," said Rachel Tsang, managing director of the British Chamber of Commerce in China.

"We're seeing the regulation promoting foreign companies to set up their headquarters in Beijing or even upgrading from subsidiaries to Asian regional office," Tsang added.

Thanks to its emerging industries and dynamic scientific innovation, Beijing has emerged as an attractive destination for foreign investment. Official data shows that the capital's actual utilized foreign direct investment reached $79.6 billion in the period from 2016 to 2020 -- accounting for over 11.8 percent of the country's total.

Notably, a total of 1,729 foreign-funded enterprises were newly established in Beijing last year, an increase of 22.8 percent compared to 2022. The number of regional headquarters of multinational corporations in the capital had reached 244 by the end of March 2024.

Maybe you're interested

Prev Next

Are You Ready to Start Your Business in an EDZ?

We provide up-to-date information and rich resources about China's EDZs.
If you have questions, please feel free to let us know.

* Please leave a message * Your Email Address

Copyright©2024 China Daily. All rights reserved.