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China further lifts investment restrictions  foreign investment

China’s National Development and Reform Commission has unveiled an updated negative list for inbound foreign investment in China last Thursday, in the latest signal of its determination to open up its economy. The number of items subject to special administrative measures on the new negative list has been cut from 63 to 48, further reducing the scope of foreign investment approval in fields including finance, transportation, professional services, infrastructure, energy, resources, and agriculture.

The announcement comes as the US government and business community has been increasing pressure on China to remove investment restrictions on targeted areas.

While these measures appear to be mostly US-focused, in the last couple of weeks we’ve seen other barriers to trade being removed and potentially benefitting Australian businesses.

Cruelty Free International, an animal protection and advocacy group that campaigns for the abolition of all animal experiments, AustCham Shanghai member Knudsen&Co and Shanghai’s Fengpu Industrial Park have signed a ground-breaking agreement that will allow foreign cosmetics companies to sell their products in China under a pilot program without having to undergo animal testing on their products.

Australian exporters eyeing China’s $60 billion cosmetics market told media they would be watching the pilot program closely. “We are quite excited about the potential for the normal trade channel to open up. We are following the pilot and while we have not confirmed yet we will be a participant, we think Chinese consumers are very focused on natural products,” Emily Dunn, the China government relations manager for Melbourne-based Swisse Wellness, said.

Australian cosmetics brands enjoy great reputation amongst Chinese consumers – the inaugural Australian Brands in China index, commissioned by Monash University earlier this year, revealed that beauty brand Australian Creams had topped a list of the most trusted national names among mainland Chinese consumers, ranking above Qantas or the Crown Group.

Corporation China CEO , Marco Pearman-Parish said in a statement to China Daily ” that this is a Game changer in allowing foreign investment like insurance firms that what to enter into the Chinese market.


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