Foreign companies would be allowed to set up China units in the form of locally registered partnerships, according to a draft proposal for new legislation, Reuters reported. The rules are likely to primarily affect foreign investment, law and accounting firms. Under the new system, foreign private equity firms, for example, would find it easier to raise renminbi funds and make investments in the name of their local partnerships. At present, they can only set up a representative office in China or register as a provider of advisory services. While investors and lawyers hailed the move as a positive one, they warned that certain restrictions would remain as to the sectors in which foreign-invested partnerships could invest. Partnerships would also still be subject to the Ministry of Commerce approval, whereas Chinese companies and Chinese nationals that want to set up a partnership need only submit tax and commercial registrations at local government level.
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