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Beijing relaxes foreign investment rules
30/10/2015 23:59:02  China Daily

BEIJING - Beijing city has promised to draft guidelines to manage the new companies sure to emerge after the central government relaxed market entry rules to allow more foreign investment in the capital's service sector on Tuesday.

Travel agencies with joint Chinese and foreign ownership are now allowed to provide services to Chinese traveling abroad and to Hong Kong and Macao, according to a statement issued by the State Council, China's cabinet. Agencies with mixed ownership were previously barred from providing these services.

A restriction saying that the Chinese capital must take a controlling stake in aircraft maintenance projects in Beijing has been lifted, and event promoters with full foreign ownership can now operate in the municipality, the State Council said.

Foreign engineering design companies applying for approval to operate in Beijing no longer need to pass a performance assessment, and foreign financial institutions have been given clearance to set up banks on their own in Beijing. Previously, 75 percent of a bank's backing had to be Chinese.

Under the new rules, health and medical insurance agencies can operate in Beijing with up to 50 percent of their investment coming from abroad, and recruitment agencies with joint Chinese and foreign ownership can be established in the Zhongguancun Science Park.

The rules will remain relaxed until at least May 5, 2018, according to the State Council.

In May, the central government announced that Beijing would be allowed to pilot policies opening the service industry wider to foreign investment, with a view to rolling out the relaxations nationwide if they help Beijing improve its services.

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