China’s top planning body published its first unified “negative list” of business sectors designated as off limits to foreign investment, in a bid to show progress on market reform and opening up, the South China Morning Post reports.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), along with the Ministry of Commerce, concluded that 151 business areas will not be accessible to non-state enterprises. The rule applies across China and will take precedent over local government regulations.
“The list is of only symbolic value as [China’s] key sectors are still off limits to the non-state-owned or foreign investors,” said Ding Haifeng, consultant with Integrity Financial Consulting in Shanghai.
“But it’s a crystal clear message that wider market access for both foreign and privately owned businesses is in the works and that they will be given opportunities in some areas, such as manufacturing,” said Ding.