China reduces items on the negative list for market access

FILE PHOTO: Men stand on a balcony overlooking the central business district in Beijing, China December 15, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has further reduced the number of sectors and industries that are off-limits to both Chinese and foreign investors in its latest so-called negative list for market access.

The 2020 list of industries that are either restricted or prohibited has been cut to 123, according to a document released by the National Development and Reform Commission on Wednesday, compared with 131 sectors on the 2019 list.

Among the changes, foreign companies are now allowed to explore for, and produce, oil and gas in China. The restriction on foreign firms seeking to carry out carbon emission assessment in China was also lifted.

Industries not on the list are open for investment to all and require no approval.

Reporting by Stella Qiu, Muyu Xu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Shri Navaratnam