China has shifted the approvals process for some foreign investments to local governments in an attempt to spur declining foreign investment, the Wall Street Journal reported. A statement issued Thursday by the Ministry of Commerce said that foreign businesses setting up an investment company with less than US$100 million in registered capital will only need approval from local commerce bureaus. Foreign investments previously required both local and ministry-level approvals. Local commerce bureaus have also been authorized to review plans by foreign-invested automakers to expand production capacity. In addition, these local bureaus can now approve foreign acquisitions of local companies if the deal value is less than US$100 million. The Commerce Ministry said the new rules took effect last week.
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