At the opening ceremony of the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on October 18, 2023, President Xi Jinping announced that China will remove all restrictions on foreign investment access in the manufacturing sector.
Foreign investment in China is governed by the administration of the “Negative Lists,” which are released by the Chinese government periodically. The Negative Lists specify the sectors where foreign investment is either restricted or prohibited. Foreign investment in sectors not specified in the Negative Lists is subject to the same administrative measures as Chinese domestic investment, and no additional restrictions on market access will apply.
The latest Negative Lists, published in 2021, only featured two restrictions on the manufacturing sector:
- Operations that print publications must be controlled by Chinese entities.
- Foreign investment in steaming, stir-frying, moxibustion, calcination and other processing techniques for Chinese herbal medicines, as well as the production of confidential prescription products of proprietary Chinese medicines are prohibited.
The move further showcases China’s determination to promote continuously a high-quality opening-up with concrete measures, which will also bolster the development of the nation’s manufacturing sector. It is expected that the Chinese government will update the Negative Lists soon to adapt to this announcement. And there could be market opportunities for foreign investors interested in the printing and Chinese medicine industries.