China to ease market access with "negative list" approach
10 July 2014
The State Council recently issued its Several Opinions on Promoting Fair Competition and Safeguarding Normal Market Order. This new directive is aimed at remedying a number of existing issues, notably incomplete market systems and excessive government intervention. To this end, the government is to lower the market access threshold in line with the principle of "easy access and strict supervision". It is also set to promote the freedom of enterprises to operate independently and to encourage fair competition and market regulation with the goal of establishing a mature market supervision system by 2020.
The Opinions propose action in seven areas. In terms of the reform of the market access system, the government is committed to not restricting market access to voluntary investments and civilian and commercial activities unless they are forbidden by law or harm the interests of a third-party, the public interest or national security.
To this end, the State Council is to draw up a negative list proscribing market access. This will clearly list the industries, areas and businesses that are prohibited or restricted from certain investments and operations. Market entities and enterprises will have fair access to all areas not on the list. The system of industry and commerce registration will also be reformed, while facilitation measures will be introduced and prior approval requirements will be drastically reduced. The government will also look to develop a management approach that combines pre-establishment national treatment with a negative list.
The other areas highlighted for action include:
- Strengthening market supervision and safeguarding fair competition
- Building a solid foundation for credit supervision and accelerating the establishment of a market credit information platform
- Improving market supervision and law enforcement while regulating market law enforcement activities
- Improving the supervision and law enforcement systems
- Strengthening the social supervision mechanisms and facilitating the self-policing role of industry associations and chambers of commerce
- Improving supervision and law enforcement safeguards and ensuring that there are appropriate laws in place for market supervision
Please refer to the following links for details of the aforementioned Opinions in Chinese:
- Mainland China
- Mainland China