City streamlines process for foreign investment

Huang Yixuan
The changes are aimed at reducing paperwork and red tape in the application and approval process,
Huang Yixuan

Shanghai has issued new measures on the approval and filing of foreign investment projects, largely reducing the paperwork required and cutting red tape to streamline application procedures for foreign investors.

The city government on Wednesday released the "Procedures of Shanghai Municipality on the Administration of Approval and Filing of Projects with Foreign Investment," aiming at standardizing the approval and filing of the projects, improving government services and facilitating foreign investment.

As a new regulatory document on foreign investment, it reflected the combination of new rules, new requirements on fixed-asset investment project administration, and new measures of the city's reforms on "streamlining administration and delegating power, improving regulation, and upgrading services."

These procedures apply to newly established or acquired projects of foreign investors and foreign-invested enterprises involving fixed-asset investment in Shanghai.

According to the document, the materials required for approval of foreign investment projects are to be substantially simplified.

A highlight is that project units will no longer be required to provide duplicate documents that can be obtained by mutual recognition and sharing of data via the Government Online-Offline Shanghai.

It underscored that foreign investors may make their own decisions and bear their own risks in line with the market prospects and economic benefits, sources of funds and product technology solutions of the projects according to law.

And project approval and filing authorities may not illegally infringe upon their investment autonomy, nor impose restrictions on the access of foreign investment in areas beyond the Negative List.

The preliminary trial and implementation of new measures on the administration of foreign investment projects will be launched in several strategic functional areas in Shanghai, including Pudong New Area, the Lingang Special Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, and the Hongqiao International Open Hub.

These procedures will go into effect from March 1 and remain valid until February 28, 2027.

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