Regulations to enhance confidence of foreign investors
The 25th meeting of the 15th Shanghai People’s Congress has voted unanimously to adopt the Shanghai Regulations on Foreign Investment, aiming to further enhance the confidence of foreign investors.
"It is a local ordinance in line with the superior law and also the city’s efforts to promote foreign investment, which shows Shanghai’s determination to open up more vigorously," said Ding Wei, director of the committee on legislation work of the Standing Committee of Shanghai People’s Congress.
The concepts of equality and reciprocity are fully embodied in the articles.
The regulations state that in case of cross-department or cross-regional affairs, the municipal or regional commerce authorities shall take the lead in coordinating, and actively deliver feedback to foreign investors and foreign-invested enterprises.
According to Shen Weihua, deputy director of the city's commission of commerce, this means that the commerce departments of various levels should serve as a cushion for foreign investors and enterprises.
For the next step, the commission will set up a municipal-level foreign investment related consultation and coordination mechanism, to make overall arrangements for relevant departments and detailed work in all districts to practically put the services into effect, Shen said.
The regulations make specific rules for ensuring fair treatment of domestic and foreign-funded enterprises, encouraging foreign investment, the management of the negative list and services for major projects.
Zhang Li, director of the open economy development division of the city's Development and Reform Commission, said that they will ensure consistency of domestic and foreign investment projects in areas other than the negative list and strengthen cross-department coordination to improve efficiency of administration.
"At the same time, we will further establish and optimize the service system for major foreign-funded projects, setting up green channels and promoting the management of such aaffair as market access, planning, land use, environmental protection, energy use, construction and foreign exchange," Zhang said.
"We will not only focus on the projects with large investments, but also on those with significant breakthroughs and high coordination requirements," she added.
Shanghai is a hot spot for foreign investment and a bellwether for foreign investment in China.
According to official statistics data, around 60,000 foreign-funded enterprises in Shanghai contribute more than a quarter of the city’s regional gross product, over a third of its tax revenue, about two-thirds of its overall volume of imports and exports, more than one-fifth of its industrial output, and around one-fifth of its total employment.
Since the beginning of this year, the international economic and trade situation has undergone profound changes as a result of COVID-19. The introduction of the regulations has no doubt boosted the confidence of foreign-funded enterprises investing or doing business in the city.