China scraps rules for foreign firms

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China has abolished administrative rules for approval and management of representative offices of foreign companies, saying that the move is aimed at ensuring an open and fair business environment for foreign enterprises.

The move comes after complaints from foreign enterprises and business associations that China has not delivered on long-standing promises of more openness and a fairer market, and it was announced just weeks before the upcoming 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), so further concrete measures are probably coming, a former top official and other experts said.

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said in a document on Monday that it has scrapped administrative rules for the establishment and management of representative offices of foreign companies in China. The decision was approved on August 21 and went into effect on September 14.

The move, ordered by the State Council, China’s cabinet, will “continue to deepen reforms in streamlining administration, delegating power and optimizing services,” MOFCOM said in the document, which was signed by Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan.

The administrative rules, first introduced in 1995, required foreign companies to apply for official approval when setting up representative offices in China and to reapply two months before the expiry of the initial permit, which could only last for a maximum of three years…

Read more : Global Times, 27.09.2017