News & Editorial‎ > ‎

Editorial July 2014

posted Jul 30, 2014, 8:22 AM by International Link
The Reduction to the number of Items in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone ‘Negative List’ is welcomed by European Industry

The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China welcomes the government’s reduction of the scope of Negative List for the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (CSPFTZ) that was announced in the evening of 30th June. The announcement serves to reduce the number of items for which foreign investment is still restricted from 190 to 139. This represents a reduction of approximately 27% to the scope of the Negative List. Although the extent of the cuts is slightly lower than the European business community in China had been hoping for and some previous official press statements had forecasted, it is still a substantial decrease and an encouraging step in the right direction.

This is the first reduction to the Negative List following its release nine months ago. Since then, the Decision of the Third Plenum has been promulgated. The Decision clearly shows that there is consensus among China’s leaders that deep and broad reforms are required nationwide. The CPSFTZ, as such, has from the start been positioned as a testing ground for these reforms and for further opening up to foreign industry. Some of the items that have been removed from the Negative List are in important sectors. The revised list offers foreign enterprises greater freedom to participate in inter alia the real-estate sector by allowing firms to invest in construction, and certain manufacturing sectors such as pharmaceutical drugs, auto components and textiles. European investment into these areas could serve to bring strong benefit to China’s continued economic and societal development.

Stefan Sack, Vice President of the European Chamber and Chairman of its Shanghai Chapter, said, “In a recent survey conducted by the European Chamber, over half of European companies viewed the inauguration of the CSPFTZ as a major step towards the opening-up of the Chinese market and the creation of a level playing field for foreign business. The reduction to the scope of the Negative List re-establishes European companies’ confidence in China’s commitment to the CSPFTZ. There is, however, still great room for further eliminating many of the remaining barriers to foreign investment in the zone that would bring benefit both for European business and for China. European Chamber members hope that additional amendments will be taken in a timely and transparent manner, and that these further rounds will involve consultation with international stakeholders.”

Mr Sack added, “In addition to further reducing the scope of the Negative List, what is more important is that the Shanghai authorities now also work with China’s central-level authorities to coordinate a speedy nationwide rollout of the Negative List approach and to ensure that those
reforms successfully piloted in the zone start to be implemented all across China this year. The full name of the zone is the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone. For me, the two most important words in this are ‘China’ and ‘Pilot’ as they show the intention of the zone as a testing ground for rollout nationally. China urgently needs reforms, so it is important that the CSPFTZ—as a pilot zone—not become a bottleneck to central-level implementation but instead help to accelerate reforms throughout China.”

About the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China
The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China was originally founded by 51 member companies based in China on 19th October 2000. It now has approximately 1,800 member companies throughout China across nine offices in seven chapters. The rationale for the establishment of the European Chamber was based on the need of the European Union and European businesses in China to find a common voice within various business sectors. The European Chamber is recognised by the European Commission and the Chinese authorities as the official voice of European Business in China, and seeks greater market access and improved operating conditions for European companies.

Source: The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China


歐洲企業歡迎中國(上海)自由貿易試驗區「負面清單」的縮減

北京—中國歐盟商會非常高興地看到中國政府在六月三十日發佈的中國(上海)自由貿易試點區負面清單中削減了覆蓋範圍。在這份通知中,外國資本依舊受到限制的條目從一百九十項縮減到一百三十九項。這相當於減少了負面清單中將近27%的專案。雖然削減的程度稍稍低於歐洲企業界的預期和之前的一些官方預測性聲明,但這仍是一次可觀的削減,此舉亦是向正確的方向邁出了鼓舞人心的一步。

這是繼「負面清單」九個月前發佈後的第一次刪減。在那之後,三中全會的「決定」也相繼出臺。「決定」清楚表明中國的領導人對在全國範圍內開展深入廣泛的改革的緊迫性已經達成共識。諸如從一開始,中國(上海)自由貿易試點區就被作為這些改革和對國外行業更深度開放的一塊試驗田。一些從「負面清單」中抹去的條目屬於重要行業。修改後的清單給予了外國企業更大的自由度,來參與到包括房地產行業在內的建築業以及某些特定的製造業,諸如醫藥業、汽車零部件製造業和紡織業的投資。歐洲資本進入這些領域會對中國經濟和社會的持續發展帶來很大的裨益。

中國歐盟商會副會長、上海分會主席斯蒂芬•賽克先生說,「在歐盟商會最近的一個調查中,超過半數歐洲企業把中國(上海)自由貿易試驗區的設立看做中國市場開放的重要一步,認為其為外企在華公平競爭創造了條件。降低負面清單規模重新鞏固了歐洲企業對中國有關上海自貿區的承諾的信心。然而,消除試驗區內剩餘壁壘仍然有很大空間,這麼做會給中國和歐洲企業都帶來利益。歐盟商會成員希望,對清單的進一步修訂會及時、透明地進行,且過程中應諮詢國際利益相關方。」

賽克先生補充說,「除了進一步減少負面清單的範圍,更重要的是,上海地方政府現在正與中央機關協調工作,將負面清單管理模式迅速在推廣,並確保那些在試點區域成功實施的改革措施在全國範圍內開展。該區域的全稱是中國(上海)自由貿易試驗區。對我來說,這其中的兩個關鍵字是『中國』和『試驗』,因為它們顯示出該區域意將試驗田的模式部署全國。中國迫切需要進行改革,因此重要的是中國(上海)自由貿易試驗區作為試點區域,不應成為中央層面執行的瓶頸,而應説明整個中國加快改革。」

Comments