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accelerate the process to fully lower the market access threshold for foreign investments in
banking, securities and insurance, the premier said. Service sectors, including medical care and educ
ation, will be opened up along with transportation, infrastructure and energy, he said.
Li said China will further make it easier for foreign companies to set up a venture capital presence and will improve regulati
ons on foreign investors’ strategic investments in listed companies and their mergers with and acquisitions of domestic enterprises.
Also, preferential policies for investments from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan w
ill remain unchanged, and greater development opportunities will be offered for them, Li said.
Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalizaton, said he was impressed by Li’s speech to cl
ean up rules and regulations inconsistent with the Foreign Investment Law as well as to launch a more streamlined negative list.
“It shows China’s attitude of further opening-up, which is a higher-level and more concrete commitment of China,” he said.
Leif Johansson, chairman of global biopharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, said
Li’s speech reflects the determination to create a more open, fair and transpare
nts in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Shandong provinces as well as Beijing will eventually be able to sell bonds at count
ers in commercial banks directly to retail investors, and the practice will be expanded nationwide after an additional period of time.
The ministry said individuals do not need to pay taxes on the bonds’ interest income, and this policy is likely to attract more investors.
Selling local government bonds to retail investors should facilitate liquidity
in the secondary market, improve the market-oriented bond pricing mechanism and pu
sh issuers to enhance the quality of information disclosure, said Amanda Du, a Moody’s vice-president and senior analyst.
“Higher coupon rates compared with treasury bonds, and the tax exemption on the interest income, make
local government bonds more attractive for retail investors,” she said. “The fast takeup by retail investors also indicates that the
bonds have won high recognition among individual buyers, supported by the local governments’ high credit ratings.”
gmatism over its decision of endorsing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), saying Xi and Mattarella agreed
that China and Italy, which are at the two ends of the ancient Silk Road, are natural partners in constructing the Belt and Road.
Conte, according to Wang, said the BRI will bring great opportunities to Italy. He also agre
ed to attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held in Beijing next month.
France is one of the earliest European countries that have expressed the willingness to take pa
rt in the BRI cooperation. During Xi’s visit to France, the two countries signed agreements on the third round of the BRI-related dem
onstration projects in third-party markets and kicked off a third-party market fund, Wang said.
At the closing session of a global governance forum co-hosted by China and France, Macron
said the BRI is significant and can play an important role in world peace, stability and development, adding that the EU could align
its development strategy with the BRI in an innovative way and jointly promote Eurasian connectivity.