More than 10 Hong Kong entrepreneurs have taken advantage of a relaxation of investment restrictions in Shenzhen to open whollyowned restaurants in the special economic zone, according to Hong Kong iMail. Currently China’s national policy is to allow foreign participation in retail operations, including restaurants, through joint ventures with domestic partners. The food and beverage sector is due to be opened to direct investment in 2003 under China’s commitments to the World Trade Organisation. However, under a decision made last year by the Shenzhen city government to open these sectors to Hong Kong investors, Hong Kong citizens can apply for a restaurant licence. They must bring in at least HK$1m in investment and to set up wholly-owned retail businesses in the Lo Wu border district under a pilot scheme that might be extended to the whole zone if it is successful.