China eases rules to boost foreign direct investment

BEIJING Tue May 20, 2014 6:18am EDT

Red flags flutter next to a national emblem and a national flag of China on top of the Great Hall of the People, which is the venue of the closing ceremony of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), in Beijing, March 12, 2014. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic

Red flags flutter next to a national emblem and a national flag of China on top of the Great Hall of the People, which is the venue of the closing ceremony of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), in Beijing, March 12, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Petar Kujundzic

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has relaxed some rules to make it easier for foreign companies to invest in China, including giving local authorities more power to approve deals, in the latest effort to cut red tape and quicken investment.

The National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner, will delegate to local governments the power to approve foreign investment projects in categories it encourages that are worth less than $300 million.

Previously, all deals that are worth $100 million or above needed NDRC approval.

Also under the revised rules, foreign investment in property projects can be approved by provincial-level governments, regardless of the amount of investment.

The existing rules require NDRC approval for investment in property projects worth more than $50 million.

The rules are the final version of an earlier draft document published in January and there are no major changes between the two versions.

The new rules go into effect on June 17.

(Reporting by Aileen Wang and Jonathan Standing)

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Find your dream retirement town

Florida? Hawaii? Reuters has teamed up with Zillow to give you the power to customize a list of your best places to retire.  Video | Full Article