China's foreign investment law to help improve business environment, experts say

China's foreign investment law to help improve business environment, experts say

With unified provisions for the entry, promotion, protection, and management of foreign investment, it is a new and fundamental law for foreign investment in China.

They "could easily be used as pretense to discriminate against foreign companies", analysts at consulting firm Trivium China wrote in a commentary this week. This is not how China behaves.

It could help ease trade tensions with the United States.

Huawei, the biggest global maker of network gear for phone and internet companies, has denied accusations it facilitates Chinese spying.

According to the FIL, Chinese officials are prohibited from revealing commercially confidential information they obtain from foreign businesses or from favouring Chinese firms.

"The last-minute efforts are appreciated, but the changes shouldn't have been controversial in the first place and only address a small slice of the overall set of concerns our members have about the uneven playing field foreign companies encounter in China", Tim Stratford, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, said, per Los Angeles Times.

Beijing sees the law as a tool to attract more foreign investment as its economy slows, with the government last week presenting a growth target of 6.0 to 6.5% this year, down from 6.6% growth in 2018.

Donald Trump said negotiations between the U.S. and China trade talks should conclude in four weeks.

The annual session of China's parliament this year ended Friday with stronger information control and a consideration toward the United States, which has been putting pressure on Beijing to rectify its alleged unfair trade practices.

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While 2,929 delegates voted in favor of the law, eight voted against and eight abstained. But the new law "doesn't tackle" that problem, she added.

The law, to replace existing regulations for joint ventures and wholly foreign-owned enterprises, is created to ease concerns among foreign investors about the difficulties they face operating in the world's second-largest economy.

Under the bill, foreign investors would enjoy the same privileges as Chinese companies in most sectors, except those placed on "negative lists", officials said.

US President Donald Trump said on 14 March the negotiations should wrap up within four weeks, adding: "We are getting what we have to get".

"Enforcement will be the key metric for evaluating success, but the business community has collectively advocated for years for the Chinese government to impose criminal penalties for infringement, we need to recognise this positive progress to that end".

He said the government will further shorten its foreign negative list to allow more foreign investors to invest in various industries in the Chinese market.

China can use reserve requirements and interest rates to support economic growth, Premier Li Keqiang said, promising broad policy steps to prevent a sharper deceleration as the world's second-biggest economy expands at the slowest pace in almost three decades.

Using the app released in January, two months before the National People's Congress convened, users can get points by watching state-run media news reporting Xi and guessing right on quizzes about his speeches or movements.

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