Business & Economy

China seeks foreign investment to develop 5G, self-driving tech

Shanghai, China, Dec 29 (efe-epa).- China is seeking foreign capital to develop industries like 5th generation (5G) mobile networks and self-driving vehicles, according to the commerce ministry.

The ministry published on Monday night a list of sectors for overseas investment.

It covers a total of 480 sectors at the national level and another 755 specific to the central and western regions of the country, promoted to balance the economic development that has traditionally skewed towards the coastal regions.

The update to the list adds 127 new industries where foreign investment is sought. It will come into effect from Jan.27.

Some 88 existing sectors have been revised to enhance capital receiving possibilities.

A commerce ministry spokesperson said emphasis had been laid on the manufacturing and production-related services to improve efficiency and industrial technologies, with new sectors such as online education and cross-border e-commerce being added to the list.

Fields related to the Covid-19 pandemic also figure on the list, including ventilators and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machines, used on patients whose lungs have been severely damaged.

Foreign investors putting in the capital in these sectors would be able to benefit from preferential policies in areas such as taxes and land use-norms.

In recent years, China has tried to speed up the opening of its economy with such initiatives, including the downsizing of a “black list” of sectors where foreign investments are banned. The list was reduced from 40 to 33 industries in 2019.

At a time when trade ties with the United States have touched new lows, Beijing is also promoting treaties such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership – the world’s largest free trade agreement recently signed by 15 other countries of the Asia-Pacific region – and the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment with the European Union.

A political agreement over the CAI could be announced on Wednesday – although the ratification process can take months to be completed – after no EU member objected to the latest round of negotiations of a process that began in 2014.

Diplomatic sources told EFE that China had expressed willingness to address doubts raised by its European partners over labor norms.

The sources said the government was ready to move forward towards ratifying the conventions of the International Labor Organizations.

Some EU members had previously expressed doubts over Beijing’s commitment in these areas.

With the CAI, the EU aims to improve access to the Chinese market for European companies and increase transparency in the subsidies that the Chinese government offers to state companies to ensure a level playing field and fair competition. EFE-EPA


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