China will give local governments more investment-approval power

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China will give local governments more power to approve some foreign investments, the country's top economic planning agency said on Thursday, the latest step to cut red tape in a bid to boost economic growth.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said it plans to triple to US$300 million (S$383.6 million) the threshold for local governments approving some projects that are not under direct central government control.

In a statement the NDRC also said that under the revised rules, foreign investment in property projects could be approved by provincial-level governments, regardless of the amount of investment.

The existing rules require NDRC approval for investment in property projects of more than US$50 million.

The ministry is collecting public views on the planned revisions, it said in the statement on its website

In the past year, China has stripped dozens of powers from central government ministries as it bids prevent Beijing's army of bureaucrats from micro-managing the world's second-largest economy.

China attracted a record US$117.6 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2013, underlining investors' confidence in the country's economic outlook.