Despite recent announcements that intended to reduce uncertainty surrounding foreign investment restrictions, doubts remain about China’s commitment to and timeline for meaningful changes to its investment regulatory regime. A January 10 State Council decision to temporarily suspend certain foreign investment restrictions in the free trade zones (FTZs) appears to be only an attempt to clarify that existing liberalizations in the FTZs supercede national restrictions in those areas.
Recent statements by China and the United States suggest the two countries may be viewed as swapping places as the global leader on free trade policies, but the actions that both sides take in the coming months will provide the best assessment about the roles each government intends to play.
The Trump administration announced early this morning that it had reached agreement with the Chinese government on resolving several irritants in the US-China commercial relationship. The outcomes were reached roughly a third of the way into the 100-day period designated by Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping in their summit last month to bring greater balance in the commercial relationship.
A small number of investment openings are expected as part of a revised list of sectors open to foreign investment, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) representatives told a group of US-China Business Council (USCBC) member companies during a recent meeting. The list is expected in the first half of 2017.