China: Government bars foreign investment in some sectors

9 November 2007

Beijing, China, 9 Nov – China Thursday issued new rules to bar some sectors from receiving foreign investment, such as the real estate and financial sectors, as well as oil exploration and precious metal prospecting.

The new rules also aim to encourage investment in environmental protection industries, renewable energy and pollution control, under the terms of a statement issued by the National Commission for Reform and Development, the Chinese ministry responsible for economic planning.

The statement added that Beijing would encourage foreign investment in the sectors of high technology and manufacturing of cutting edge equipment and materials, whilst restricting foreign investment in the industries in which China believes it already has technologies and skills.

Beijing said that the new measures would slow high economic growth levels and protect the environment, one of the biggest victims of rapid economic growth.

The new rule, which are due to come into force on December 1, also prohibit investment in construction of hotels, shopping centers, condominiums and office buildings, as well as placing more controversial restrictions, such as banning foreign companies from investing in Internet services or Internet sites with news content.

The NCRD list also aims to restrict investment in export industries, reflecting China’s aim of reducing its trade surplus, which in 2007 is expected to exceed US$200 billion.

In the first nine months of the year, foreign direct investment (FDI) in China rose 11 percent against the same period of the previous year, totalling US$47.2 billion.

In 2006, China received US$63 billion in FDI. (macauhub)