Premier Li Pledges to Further Open Up Financial Sector at Boao Forum

Premier Li Pledges to further open up financial sector at Boao Forum
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang waves as he arrives for a news conference following the closing session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China March 15, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Jason Lee)

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged on Thursday that China will continue to open up financial sectors, and relevant policies will be implemented vigorously in 2019, according to Xinhua News Agency.

"The banking, securities and insurance sectors are accelerating the full opening of market access for foreign investors. " Li said in the keynotes speech at the annual Boao Forum held on China's southern island of Hainan.

"The scope of foreign-funded banking services will be greatly expanded. There is no longer a separate limit on the business scope of foreign-invested securities companies and insurance brokerage companies. The access restrictions for credit reporting, credit rating services, bank card settlement and non-bank payments will be greatly relaxed." Li said.

Li Keqiang also ensured the effective implementation of the Foreign Investment Law. He said the Chinese government has initiated the formulation of supporting laws and regulations to refine the main legal system established by the Foreign Investment Law, and to form a set of specific operational rules.

Li said these works will be completed before the end of the year, ensuring that they will be implemented simultaneously with the Foreign Investment Law on January 1st, 2020.

"We insist on expanding openness and implementing the principle of competitive neutrality. We will also thoroughly clean up relevant laws, regulations and normative documents. Anything that is inconsistent with the Foreign Investment Law must be resolutely abolished or amended." Premier Li said.

Some financial sectors have accelerated their steps on market openness recently. After approving the applications of establishing seven foreign banks and insurance corporations in 2018, on March 27, China's Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) approved another three applications for market access and geographical expansion.

Below are the key points of Premier Li's Keynotes Speech at Boao Asian Forum on March 28:

- Since the beginning of this year, China's economy has been operating steadily and there have been some positive changes. The market expectation has been improved significantly and capital market transactions are active.

- The large-scale tax reduction and fee reduction that Chinese government promised must be delivered. Tax and fee reduction are important measures to stimulate the vitality of the market and respond to the downward pressure on the economy this year.

- China will strengthen the protection of foreign business' legitimate rights and interests and will not allow mandatory transfer of technology.

- China will further relax the markets access for foreign investment and fully implement the pre-entry national treatment plus negative list management system.

- China will continue to open up the financial industry to foreign investment. The banking, securities and insurance sectors are accelerating the full opening of market access for foreign investors.

- China will promptly formulate supporting laws and regulations for Foreign Investment Law and ensure them to be implemented along with the Foreign Investment Law on January 1st, 2020.

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