Editorial July 2014

張貼日期:Jul 30, 2014 3:22:50 PM

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