China's President Xi Jinping announces ‘major plans’ to further open markets
China's President Xi Jinping has pledged to further open up the country's economy with a series of “major plans” in his keynote speech at the Boao Forum on Tuesday.

Xiake Island, literally meaning “knight's island”, a popular WeChat official account that provides in-depth analysis for decoding China's latest political news, has summarized the major messages the president intended to deliver in four aspects.

- Relax control on market access significantly

This year, we will take significant measures especially in the financial services sector. We must ensure implementation of measures announced at the end of last year to relax foreign equity limitations in banking, securities and insurance sectors, while expediting the opening of insurance markets, easing limits on foreign ownership of financial services groups, and expanding their business scope. The manufacturing markets are basically open, with limitations remaining in a few industries including automobiles, ships and airplanes, which are ready to be opened up. The next step would be to relax foreign equity limitations in especially the automobile sector.

- Create a more attractive investment environment

Investment climate is like air; only when the air is fresh, more people would come. In the past, China mainly used preferential policies to attract foreign investors, while now, we need to rely on an improved business climate. We'll double efforts to comply with international economic and trade rules, boost transparency, strengthen IPR protection, adhere to laws, encourage competition and fight against monopoly. This March, we have set up a state market regulatory administration and several other new agencies to overhaul the current government institutions. In the first half of the year, we'll finish revising the Foreign Investment Negative List.

- Ramp up IPR protection

This will be the biggest spur to China building up economic competitiveness. For this, foreign enterprises have demands, while domestic companies have even higher demands. This year, we will restructure the State Intellectual Property Office to enhance law enforcement. We encourage domestic and foreign companies to engage in regular technological exchanges; we will protect the legal IP rights of foreign companies while we hope foreign governments strengthen protection of China's IP rights.

- Voluntarily expand imports

China does not pursue trade surplus (with any other countries) and we sincerely hope to expand imports and realize balance on current account. This year, we will considerably lower tariffs on imports of automobiles and some other goods. We hope developed countries could lift restrictions and bans on high-tech exports to China which should be part of normal and sensible trade.

Xi emphasized that the central government will make sure all the major plans announced are implemented as soon as possible. “I believe, based on the efforts, competitiveness of China's financial services industry will be boosted, the capital market will keep healthy development, market environment will be improved and IPR rigorously protected. China's opening up will be raised to a new level.”
 

The article is based on a Xiake Island report. 

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