Shenzhen’s government is boosting experimentation in its special zone of Qianhai, announcing another round of deregulatory measures focused on opening various sectors further to foreign investment. Many of the measures, 39 in total, relate to easing restrictions on human resources and encouraging cross-border capital flows.
Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan-funded enterprises are still getting the biggest share of new support measures. However, all foreign enterprises are seeing an easing of restrictions on work permits for foreigners and an encouragement to engage in cross-border trade from a base in Qianhai. Meanwhile, tax services and patent rights are among the new measures designed to make international investors feel more secure setting up in the zone.
Banks in the zone will now be able to conduct cross-border RMB services and trade in RMB derivatives. This includes locally registered banks being able to issue RMB loans to overseas institutions and projects. Qualified residents, meanwhile, will be able to invest in securities listed overseas.
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Hong Kong’s securities watchdog will be able to see audit papers kept on the mainland for investigations under an expanded cooperation accord that allows the city’s regulators to access mainland-based companies’ audit records, reports Caixin Global.
The Ministry of Finance, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) and the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday granting the Hong Kong securities regulator access to audit working papers on the mainland.
This is the second such agreement between institutions from the two sides. In May, the finance ministry’s Supervision and Evaluation Bureau signed a separate memorandum with the Hong Kong Financial Reporting Council, the city’s accountancy regulator, on cross-boundary collaboration of audit paper inspection. Under the agreement, the cooperation is limited to the two parties, and the Financial Reporting Council is not allowed to transfer the papers to any third parties, including the Hong Kong securities regulator.Read more.
The meeting with US President Donald Trump has not yet taken place. But President Xi Jinping took his opportunity at the G20 summit today to lay out China’s commitment to the next round of its Opening and Reform program, pledging five major initiatives. According to a release from the People’s Daily, these included:
- Further opening
We are about to release a 2019 edition of the negative list of foreign investment to further expand the opening of agriculture, mining, manufacturing and service industries. Six new free trade pilot zones will be established, and an additional new section in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, while we will accelerate the process of building a free trade port in Hainan.
We will further proactively reduce tariffs, work hard to eliminate trade barriers, and drastically reduce the intermediary costs for imports. We will continue to host the second edition of the China International Import Expo.
- Improve business environment
We will implement a new foreign investment law on January 1 next year, introduce a punitive damage compensation system, enhance the civil and criminal protection, and improve the protection of intellectual property.
We will completely remove the restrictions on foreign investment access outside the negative list. We will treat all registered companies in China equally, establish and improve complaint mechanisms for foreign-funded enterprises.
- Promote economic and trade relations
We will push forward a regional comprehensive economic partnership agreement, accelerate the negotiation of China-EU investment agreements and the China-Japan-Korea Free Trade Agreement. Read more.