BEIJING—China vowed to cut red tape and ease rules for foreign investors to help boost the economy and counter a decline in private investment.
Multinational firms said they welcomed the policy as a first step toward more-open markets, although they said too many sectors of China’s economy remain off-limits to foreign investors. The real test, they added, will be in how the policy is carried out.
At an executive meeting of the State Council, China’s cabinet, over the weekend, Beijing said it would encourage investment in the medical-care, education, sports and culture sectors and grant provincial governments more authority to approve projects not explicitly forbidden, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. These include projects related to container terminals, vehicle engines, urban transportation and inland waterways, it added.
“We hope that China will remain an attractive destination for foreign investment,” said Premier Li Keqiang, Xinhua reported. “We need foreign investment for economic growth.”
Some 95% of investment registration procedures would be cut under the new process, the Chinese government said.