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China’s ‘negative lists’ indicate its sectors and industries that are prohibited for investment. In an unusual move this June, it has revised the lists rolled out in 2018 to allow for more foreign controlling majorities and even full ownership in an increasing number of industries. The changes will be fully implemented by the end of 2019, one year ahead of schedule, and will predominantly reduce scrutiny across the services sector (call centres, printing, store-and-forward). Also affected, however, are agriculture and mining, meaning that the exploration and development of petroleum, natural gas, and other chemicals will be open to foreign investors. Domestic firms will benefit too with state control loosening on shipping, electricity, and brokerage. The revisions are part of China’s overall strategy of a more open economy and have succeeded in stabilizing international corporate confidence and foreign capital inflows – FDI was a record high of $140bn last year.
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