16 Apr 2010 08:52

EU welcomes foreign investment reforms in China

By Yu Chenxi

Shanghai. April 16. INTERFAX-CHINA - European Union (E.U.) countries have expressed a strong interest in expanding investments in China, E.U. Ambassador to China Serge Abou said on April 15 in Shanghai.

"We hope the Chinese government will continue to make it easier for foreign investors entering the Chinese market," Abou told Interfax.

On April 13, the State Council announced new guidelines on welcoming inbound investment, particularly in advanced manufacturing, high technology, services, new energy and environmental protection sectors.

According to the guidelines, the Chinese government is committed to expanding foreign investment and encourages foreign companies to participate in mergers and acquisitions. Domestically-listed Chinese companies are also encouraged to bring in foreign strategic investors.

Notably, China will raise the foreign investment threshold from $100 million to $300 million. Qualifying projects under $300 million in total investment will be examined and approved by local governments instead of the central government.

In addition, the importation of research and development (R & D) equipment by foreign-invested R & D centers before December 31 this year will not be subject to import value-added tax, excise and customs duties.