city skyline

La Chine accélère l’ouverture aux investissements étrangers

Publication juillet 2019


Introduction

Pendant que des tensions commerciales entre divers pays continuent de secouer l’économie mondiale, le gouvernement chinois a démontré au monde entier qu’il avait la ferme intention d’accélérer l’ouverture de son économie aux investissements étrangers.

Lors du 14e Sommet du G20 tenu à Osaka le 28 juin 2019, le président chinois Xi Jinping a réitéré l’engagement de la Chine à s’ouvrir aux investissements étrangers. Il a déclaré que la Chine lancera l’édition 2019 des listes négatives sur les investissements étrangers, qui visera principalement les secteurs de l’agriculture, des mines, de la fabrication et des services.

Deux jours après l’annonce du président Xi Jinping, la Commission nationale pour le développement et la réforme (CNDR) et le ministère du Commerce ont conjointement publié l’édition 2019 des Mesures administratives spéciales sur l’accès aux investissements étrangers (liste négative) (《外商投资准入特别管理措施(负面清单) (2019年版)》) (la nouvelle liste négative nationale) et l’édition 2019 des Mesures administratives spéciales sur l’accès aux investissements étrangers dans les zones franches pilotes (liste négative) (《自由贸易试验区外商投资准入特别管理措施 (负面清单) (2019年版)》) (la nouvelle liste négative des zones franches, collectivement avec la nouvelle liste négative nationale, les nouvelles listes négatives), lesquelles entreront en vigueur le 30 juillet 2019. L’ancien Catalogue sur les lignes directrices en matière d’investissements étrangers dans les secteurs industriels (《外商投资产业指导目录》) était mis à jour tous les deux à quatre ans, alors que la nouvelle liste négative nationale a été mise à jour tous les ans depuis son adoption en 2017.

Depuis 2018, les nouvelles listes négatives ont réduit le nombre de secteurs industriels dans lesquels les investissements étrangers sont assujettis à des mesures de restriction ou d’interdiction. Chacune des nouvelles listes négatives contient huit éléments de moins que l’édition 2018 et, à l’heure actuelle, elles ne prévoient que 40 mesures de restriction ou d’interdiction. La nouvelle liste négative des zones franches conserve 37 mesures de restriction ou d’interdiction.

Newly Opened-up Sectors under the New Negative Lists

The industrial sectors which are newly opened up for foreign investment under the New Negative Lists are summarised as follows:

Industrial Sector Item  New National Negative List  New FTZ Negative List 
Cultural and entertainment Construction and operation of cinemas Elimination of the Chinese majority shareholding requirement Elimination of the Chinese majority shareholding requirement
Performance brokerage agencies Elimination of the Chinese majority shareholding requirement N/A (The 2018 edition had already effected such elimination.)
Public utilities Construction and operation of urban gas and heat pipelines and networks for cities with a population of 500,000 or more Elimination of the Chinese majority shareholding requirement
Elimination of the Chinese majority shareholding requirement
Transportation Domestic shipping agencies Elimination of the Chinese majority shareholding requirement
Elimination of the Chinese majority shareholding requirement
Value-added telecommunication
Domestic multi-party communications, storage and retransmission and call centres Elimination of the foreign shareholding cap of 50 per cent
Elimination of the foreign shareholding cap of 50 per cent
Manufacturing Rice paper and ink ingot production Elimination of prohibition on foreign investment Elimination of prohibition on foreign investment
Printing of publications Chinese majority shareholding requirement is still applicable. Elimination of the Chinese majority shareholding requirement
Environment Development of wild animal and plant resources that are originated from and protected by China Elimination of prohibition on foreign investment Elimination of prohibition on foreign investment
Agriculture and fishing Fishing of the aquatic products in the sea and inland waters under the jurisdiction of PRC
Foreign investment is still prohibited Elimination of prohibition on foreign investment
Mining Exploration and development of oil and natural gas (except for coal-bed methane, oil shale, oil sands and shale gas) Elimination of the requirement for Sino-foreign equity/cooperative joint venture operations N/A (The 2018 edition had already effected such elimination.)
Exploration and exploitation of molybdenum, tin, antimony and fluorite Elimination of prohibition on foreign investment Elimination of prohibition on foreign investment

Comments on the New Negative Lists and Other Recent Opening-up Policies

  • It is reported that various PRC regulatory authorities have been reviewing the existing foreign investment related regulations with the aim to revoking all other restrictive or prohibitive measures for foreign investment outside the New Negative Lists by the end of the year. Simultaneously with the PRC Foreign Investment Law coming into effect on January 1, 2020, the New Negative Lists will become a one-stop shop setting out all restrictions or prohibitions on foreign investment under the PRC legal regime. Going forward, foreign investors will be subject to the negative lists only with respect to the market entry. As long as there is no restriction or prohibition under the negative lists, the foreign investors will be able to compete with the domestic enterprises in the China market on a fair and equal basis.

  • Since the establishment of the first pilot free trade zone (FTZ) in Shanghai in 2013, those FTZs are purported to serve as the experimental fields for China’s reform and opening-up policies. For example, some of the restrictive or prohibitive measures which were newly eliminated in the New National Negative List had already been removed from the 2018 edition of the FTZ negative list, such as the requirement for Sino-foreign equity/cooperative joint venture operations in the exploration and development of oil and natural gas. It is noted that the existing differences between the New National Negative List and the New FTZ Negative List have been very minor. Accordingly, going forward there will not be much room for the national negative list to further mirror the FTZ negative List to narrow the gap. It is more likely that both negative lists will be updated in parallel in future editions. Optimisation of the experimental role of FTZs to introduce more pilot opening-up policies and lead the reform will be the biggest challenge to the FTZs.

  • Both New Negative Lists retained the same timetables for further opening-up of the financial services and automobile sectors which were first introduced in the 2018 editions. In the financial services sector, all foreign shareholding restrictions in the financial services industries (including securities houses, securities investment fund management companies, futures companies and life science companies) will be lifted in 2021. Two days after the promulgation of the New Negative Lists, the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Summer Davos Forum that the target deadline for the complete opening-up of the financial services sector is in 2020, one year ahead of the original schedule, which demonstrates the ambition of the Chinese government to accelerate the opening-up of the financial services sector which is in need of competition for sustainable and healthy development.

  • Simultaneously with the promulgation of the New Negative Lists, NDRC and MOFCOM also promulgated the 2019 edition of the Catalogue of Encouraged Industries for Foreign Investment (《鼓励外商投资产业目录 (2019版)》) (the Encouraged Catalogue). The Encouraged Catalogue includes a national list setting out 415 industrial sectors in which foreign investment is encouraged nationwide and also a list of priority industries for foreign investment in each of the central and western regions (including three north-eastern provinces and the utmost southern province of Hainan island). The Encouraged Catalogue aims to encourage the flow of foreign investment into those less developed regions. Foreign investors following the Encouraged Catalogue would receive beneficial treatments in terms of corporate income tax, customs duties for imported self-use equipment and land price.

  • In President Xi’s speech in Osaka, it is also disclosed that China will expand the territory of the Shanghai FTZ, set up six new FTZs and speed up the development of a free trade port in Hainan Province. Although the details of such plans have not been officially published, it is important to note that China is exploring creative opening-up policies to attract foreign investment in order to maintain a competitive position in the increasingly complex international economic environment.

For any further questions, please contact Sun Hong, Lynn Yang or Tony Zhong of Norton Rose Fulbright, Shanghai Office.

Personne-ressource


Publications récentes

Abonnez-vous et restez à jour avec les dernières nouvelles juridiques, informations et événements ..