NPC 2018: Li Keqiang pledges greater market opening for China

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang promised the opening up of more sectors to foreign investors.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang promised the opening up of more sectors to foreign investors.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING - China will further expand the scope and raise the quality of its opening up of its markets.

“We will use high-standard opening up to generate high quality development,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday (March 5).

He promised the opening up of more sectors to foreign investors.

“The general manufacturing sector will be completely opened up, access to sectors like telecommunications, medical services, education, elderly care and new-energy vehicles will be expanded,” he said at the the opening of the annual session of the national Parliament, or National People's Congress (NPC).

Restrictions on the share of foreign-owned equity in companies in sectors including banking, securities, fund management, futures and financial asset management will be eased or lifted.

“Overseas investors will be granted tax deferral for the reinvestment of profits made in China,” he said.

The government will also make it easier for foreign-invested enterprises to set up their presence in the country.

“We will spread the use of practices developed on free trade zones all over the country,” he said.

Mr Li also told the audience of nearly 3,000 lawmakers that China will “actively expand imports” and lower tariffs on cars, and some everyday consumer goods, but did not elaborate on what these goods are.

“We will open our market wider to promote industry upgrading and more balanced development of trade, and to provide Chinese consumers with a broader range of choices,” he added.