China publishes 24-point policy in attracting foreign investment
Full translation of the State Council's Opinion on Further Optimizing the Foreign Investment Environment and Increasing the Attraction of Foreign Investment
China’s State Council, the central government cabinet, just published 国务院关于进一步优化外商投资环境加大吸引外商投资力度的意见 State Council's Opinion on Further Optimizing the Foreign Investment Environment and Increasing the Attraction of Foreign Investment on Sunday, August 13 afternoon.
It’s not long so I just did a full translation. This is NOT a legal or official translation so rely on it at your own risk. All highlights are mine.
State Council's Opinion on Further Optimizing the Foreign Investment Environment and Increasing the Attraction of Foreign Investment
(State Council Document No. 11, 2023)
To the People's Governments of Provinces, Autonomous Regions, and Directly Administered Municipalities; Ministries and Commissions of the State Council; and Directly Affiliated Agencies of the State Council:
Actively attracting and utilizing foreign investment is an important part of advancing high-level opening up to the outside world and constructing a new system for an open economy with Chinese characteristics. To further optimize the environment for foreign investment, enhance the level of investment promotion work, and increase the intensity of attracting foreign investment, the following opinions are hereby presented.
I. General Requirements
Guided by Xi Jinping's Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, fully implement the spirit of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), adhere to the general principle of pursuing progress while maintaining stability, comprehensively and accurately implement the new development concept, establish a new development paradigm, promote high-quality development, better coordinate the domestic and international situations, create a market-oriented, law-based, and internationalized first-class business environment, give full play to the advantage of China's vast market, attract and utilize foreign investment more vigorously and effectively, and make contributions to advancing high-level opening-up and building a socialist modernized country.
II. Enhancing the Quality of Foreign Investment Utilization
1. Intensify efforts to attract foreign investment in key sectors. Support foreign-invested enterprises to establish research and development centers in China, collaborate with domestic enterprises on technology research and development and industrial application and encourage foreign-invested enterprises and their research and development centers to undertake major scientific research projects. Accelerate the implementation of foreign investment projects in the biopharmaceutical sector in compliance with relevant laws and regulations, encourage foreign-invested enterprises to conduct clinical trials of cell and gene therapy drugs that are already listed overseas in China according to the law, and optimize the application process for the registration of production drugs that have been transferred from overseas to China. Support foreign-invested enterprises in advanced manufacturing, modern services, digital economy, and other fields to collaborate with various types of vocational schools (including technical training schools) and vocational training institutions to provide vocational education and training.
2. Enable the service sector to play the role of opening-up pilot demonstration in leading the way. Align with international high-standard trade and economic rules, and increase the efforts of the comprehensive pilot demonstration of service sector opening-up. Encourage the exploration of financing based on combining intellectual property, equity, and related tangible asset, and support and standardize the exploration of securitization of intellectual property. Gradually expand the regions for piloting the transfer of the share in equity investment and venture capital. Prudently expand the regions piloting the opening up of value-added telecommunications services, such as domestic Internet Virtual Private Network (VPN) business (with foreign equity not exceeding 50%), information services (limited to app stores, excluding online publishing services), and Internet access services (limited to providing Internet access services to users).
3. Broaden channels for attracting foreign investment. Encourage eligible foreign investors to establish investment companies and regional headquarters, and these enterprises invested by relevant investment companies may enjoy treatment as foreign-invested enterprises in accordance with relevant national regulations. Thoroughly implement the Qualified Foreign Limited Partner (QFLP) domestic investment pilot, establish a sound QFLP foreign exchange management facilitation system, and support them in conducting relevant investments with RMB raised abroad.
4. Support foreign-invested enterprises in carrying out the gradient transfer of investment. With the support of various opening-up platforms such as free trade pilot zones, national-level new areas, and national-level development zones, encourage the eastern regions to cooperate with the central and western regions, northeastern regions, and border regions through mechanisms for sharing output value and benefits, etc., to carry out industrial transfer collaboration. For foreign-invested enterprises that carry out comprehensive gradient transfers within China, supervision shall be implemented based on the customs credit rating level obtained in the original region.
5. Improve the mechanism for promoting the construction of foreign-funded projects. Improve the mechanism for establishing task forces for major and key foreign-funded projects, strengthen support in terms of factors, policies, and services, promote early signing, early landing, early commencement, and early production of foreign-funded projects. Introduce policies and measures to promote green power consumption, support foreign-invested enterprises' increased participation in green power certificate trading and cross-provincial and cross-regional green power trading.
III. Safeguarding National Treatment for Foreign-Invested Enterprises
6. Safeguard the participation of foreign-invested enterprises in government procurement activities in accordance with the law. Promptly introduce relevant policy measures to further clarify the specific standards for “中国境内生产” "produced within China." Innovate cooperation procurement methods, support foreign-invested enterprises in China to develop globally leading innovative products through first-time purchases, etc., and promote the revision of the Government Procurement Law. Conduct special inspections to ensure that business entities have fair participation in government procurement activities, investigate and handle illegal and irregular acts of differential treatment against foreign-invested enterprises in accordance with the law, and publicly report typical cases of violation at appropriate times. If foreign-invested enterprises believe that their rights and interests have been harmed by government procurement activities, they can raise questions and complaints in accordance with regulations, and 各级财政部门 financial departments at all levels shall accept and handle them fairly in accordance with the law.
7. Support foreign-invested enterprises in participating in standard formulation work on an equal footing in accordance with the law. Promote full-process information disclosure in standard formulation and revision, ensure that foreign-invested enterprises participate in standardization technical committees and standard formulation work on an equal footing with domestic enterprises in accordance with the law, encourage foreign-invested enterprises to develop enterprise standards on their own or jointly with other enterprises, and provide standardization services. Promote national-level service industry standardization trials in 服务业扩大开放综合试点示范地区 comprehensive pilot demonstration areas for expanding opening-up of services.
8. Ensure that foreign-invested enterprises enjoy equal support policies. The policies issued by all regions to support industrial development, expand domestic demand, etc., shall not exclude or discriminate against foreign-invested enterprises and their products and services under the pretext of limiting brands or using foreign brands, unless there are clear provisions in laws and regulations or concerns related to national security.
IV. Continuously Strengthening the Protection of Foreign-Invested Enterprises
9. Improve the mechanism for protecting the rights and interests of foreign-invested enterprises. Improve the mechanism for responding to international investment disputes, strengthen the responsibility of relevant parties, enhance dispute prevention, and properly handle international investment disputes. Vigorously crack down on malicious operations that infringe upon the legitimate rights and interests of foreign-invested enterprises through the online publication and dissemination of false and unauthorized information, and investigate and deal with relevant responsible organizations and individuals severely in accordance with the law. Establish and improve the complaint and coordination mechanism at provincial levels for foreign-invested enterprises, and promote the resolution of issues and problems involving multiple departments or policy and institutional matters.
10. Strengthen administrative protection of intellectual property rights. Improve the administrative ruling system for patent infringement disputes and enhance the enforcement of administrative rulings. Support regions to establish intellectual property workstations at exhibitions, accept copyright, patent, trademark, and other intellectual property applications related to exhibited products, and provide effective measures for preventing infringement. Strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights in the procurement of pharmaceuticals and medical consumables and require enterprises participating in procurement activities to commit that there are no violations of patent law and other laws and regulations. For products involved in intellectual property disputes, relevant departments should strengthen communication and consultation, conduct procurement activities in accordance with the law and regulations, and take timely measures such as not purchasing or canceling the qualification of selection for products that have been determined as patent infringement by administrative rulings of intellectual property departments or effective judgments of the people's court.
11. Intensify administrative law enforcement efforts for intellectual property rights. Resolutely crack down on infringements of the intellectual property rights of foreign-invested enterprises, and conduct special law enforcement actions against cross-regional, chain-type infringement and illegal acts. Improve the rapid coordinated protection mechanism for intellectual property rights, expedite the progress of cases that are clear in fact and have conclusive evidence in accordance with the law, establish and improve an integrated online and offline law enforcement mechanism, and appropriately simplify procedural requirements.
12. Standardize the formulation of foreign economic and trade policies and regulations. In the formulation of various foreign economic and trade policies and measures, attention should be paid to enhancing transparency and predictability, and foreign investors' opinions should be heard in accordance with the law. New policy measures should be reasonably phased in, with transitional periods.
V. Enhancing the Level of Investment and Business Operation Facilitation
13. Optimize policies for the stay and residence of foreign employees of foreign-invested enterprises. Continuously optimize entry and exit policy measures, provide convenience for the foreign executives, technical personnel, and their families of foreign-invested enterprises for entry, exit, and residence. Guide Chinese embassies or consulates in key investment countries or regions to continue to facilitate visa applications for executives of multinational corporations, and publicize China's entry policies in a timely manner. Provide convenience for qualified foreign-invested enterprises to apply for permanent residency for foreign senior management and technical personnel who have been employed and recommended by foreign-invested enterprises. Increase the convenience of using permanent residence identity cards for foreigners in public transportation, financial services, medical security, and internet payment scenarios.
14. Explore a secure management mechanism for streamlined cross-border data flow. Implement requirements such as Cybersecurity Law, Data Security Law, Personal Information Protection Law, etc., establish a green channel for qualified foreign-invested enterprises to efficiently conduct outflow safety assessments for important data and personal information, and promote secure, orderly, and free data flow. Support Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and other places in the implementation of data outflow safety assessments, personal information protection certification, and standard contract filing for personal information outflow, and explore the formation of a list of freely flowing general data, build a service platform during the implementation of the system, and provide compliant data cross-border flow services.
15. Coordinate and optimize law enforcement inspections of foreign-invested enterprises. Coordinate the advancement of "random selection and public disclosure" supervision with credit risk classification management, further reduce the inspection proportion and frequency for foreign-invested enterprises with low credit risks. Support certain regions to coordinate safety production, environmental protection, product quality, and other inspections related to enterprises, and achieve the principle of "one entry, multiple inspections" for enterprises.
16. Improve services for foreign-invested enterprises. Establish and improve the system of roundtable conferences with governments for foreign-invested enterprises. Establish and improve a coordinated mechanism for major and key foreign-funded project work groups at all levels, timely coordinate and solve difficulties and problems encountered in project signing, construction, and production. Facilitate the signing of certificates of origin for free trade agreements and provide convenience for foreign-invested enterprises to enjoy tariff reduction policies.
VI. Increasing Financial and Tax Support
17. Strengthen the funding support for promoting foreign investment. Through the coordination of 中央外经贸发展专项资金 special funds for the central development of foreign trade and economic relations, increase support for foreign-funded projects with landmark significance, and promote the early implementation of projects. Improve the use of foreign investment promotion funds by local governments at all levels, and enhance support for key industrial chain investments. Support regions within their statutory authority to provide support for investment projects of key multinational corporations.
18. Encourage foreign-invested enterprises to reinvest domestically. Implement the policies of temporarily not levying pre-tax income tax on profits reinvested domestically by foreign investors, and intensify publicity and guidance efforts, instruct local commercial and tax authorities at all levels to specify the scope of the policy application, application materials, and processing procedures, and do a good job in specific implementations.
19. Implement relevant tax preferential policies for foreign-invested enterprises. Guide and assist foreign individuals to enjoy tax-exempt preferential policies for housing subsidies, language training fees, children's education fees, etc., in accordance with relevant national regulations. Guide and assist foreign-funded research and development centers to enjoy tax policies supporting the import of technological innovations and value-added tax refund policies for domestically purchased equipment in accordance with relevant national regulations.
20. Support foreign-invested enterprises' investment in nationally encouraged development areas. Support regions within their statutory authority to implement supporting reward measures for foreign-invested enterprises that meet the requirements of the Catalogue of Encouraged Industries for Foreign Investment. Do a good job in implementing import duty-free work for encouraged foreign-invested projects and relevant supporting policy measures.
VII. Improving Foreign Investment Promotion Methods
21. Improve the investment promotion mechanism. Carry out a series of "Year of Investing in China" activities, continuously build the "Invest in China" brand, establish and improve work mechanisms, guide and support local governments in conducting foreign investment promotion work, encourage regions with conditions to establish investment promotion cooperation mechanisms with relevant countries or regions, and build investment promotion platforms in various forms. Encourage regions to explore more effective and flexible employment mechanisms and compensation systems for foreign investment promotion departments and teams in non-civil servant and non-institutional positions, strengthen personnel allocation for foreign investment promotion through cross-regional, cross-level, and cross-departmental transfers, accelerate the establishment of a diversified foreign investment promotion work system, and promote the formation of a multi-party participation and flexible and efficient foreign investment promotion coordination linkage mechanism involving governments, investment promotion agencies, chambers of commerce, intermediary institutions, industrial chain leading enterprises, etc.
21. Facilitate overseas investment promotion work. Support investment promotion groups from various regions to carry out regular investment attraction activities abroad, invite foreign investors to China for investment negotiations, etc. For major and key foreign investment projects, issue multiple-entry business visas to foreign personnel related to the projects according to work needs.
22. Expand channels for foreign investment promotion. Support investment promotion teams from various regions to regularly conduct investment attraction activities overseas, such as investment solicitation and participation in exhibitions, and invite foreign businesses to China for investment negotiations. For significant and key foreign investment projects, multiple-entry business visas will be issued to relevant foreign personnel according to operational requirements.
23. Expand channels for promoting foreign investment. Strengthen the connection between Chinese embassies and key enterprises in host countries or regions, promoting investment opportunities in China. Support various regions in enhancing communication with the Ministry of Commerce and the overseas economic and trade promotion agencies of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), leveraging the role of investment promotion agencies (representative offices) established by local regions abroad, and strengthening connections and collaboration with foreign economic and trade promotion organizations.
24. Optimize foreign investment promotion evaluation. Establish and improve the evaluation system for the effectiveness of foreign investment promotion, focus on the actual contributions of investment to economic and social development, prevent the use of statistical data on investment scale and actual capital inflows as the sole basis for assessment and related enterprise and personnel rewards and penalties, and effectively prevent exaggeration and falsification of foreign investment promotion or nefarious competition.
VIII. Strengthening Organizational Implementation
All regions, departments, and relevant units must resolutely implement the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, raise political awareness, effectively carry out the work of further optimizing the foreign investment environment and increasing the attraction of foreign investment, and make every effort to achieve the goal of utilizing foreign investment to promote stability and quality. Encourage regions to introduce supporting measures according to local conditions to enhance the synergy of policies. The Ministry of Commerce, together with relevant departments and units, should strengthen guidance and coordination, do a good job in policy publicity, timely implement policy measures, create a more optimized investment environment for foreign investors, and effectively boost their confidence in investing in China.
July 25, 2023
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Yes, the end of the document says （本文有删减）(This text has been shortened), meaning the public version isn’t the whole document, whatever that means.