December 31, 2017 / 9:51 AM / 6 months ago

China trade minister pledges easier market access for foreign investors

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will make it easier for foreign investors to access the country, protect their rights and ensure a fair and transparent investment environment, Trade Minister Zhong Shan said in comments published on Sunday.

China's Commerce Minister Zhong Shan speaks at the 11th World Trade Organization's ministerial conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

Writing in the latest issue of Communist Party theoretical journal Qiushi, Zhong said that the government would “raise the level of use of foreign investment”.

China would make market access a lot easier, protect the legitimate rights of foreign firms and create a “fair, transparent and predictable business environment”, he added, without giving details.

Foreign business groups in China have warned that foreign companies face an increasingly hostile environment in the country, and that Beijing’s policies and regulations unfairly favor domestic competitors.

Companies have also been worried about a lack of regulatory transparency, including inadequate protection for intellectual property.

Zhong said that there would be no “stagnation” to Beijing’s reform and opening-up process, and pledged China would “fully become a strong business and trade country before 2050”.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Richard Borsuk

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