In a significant move to boost foreign investment, Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng, during a meeting with global financial executives, announced China’s plans to simplify investment processes for foreign entities. This announcement was made at a gathering of the international advisory committee of the Chinese securities regulator, where Vice Premier He, who is also the director of the Central Commission for Financial and Economic Affairs, addressed the attendees.
The meeting occurred against the backdrop of foreign investors adopting a cautious stance towards China, amidst uncertainties surrounding the nation’s economic direction and ongoing tensions with the United States. This caution is reflected in the MSCI China stock index, which experienced an 11% drop in 2023, marking its third consecutive year of decline – a first in two decades, as noted by Goldman Sachs.
Vice Premier He stated that China is committed to continuing the reform and opening-up of its capital market. He emphasized the country’s efforts to facilitate cross-border investment and financing, and expressed a keen interest in attracting more foreign financial institutions and long-term capital to China. These remarks were reported by Xinhua, the state news agency.
China has been progressively allowing foreign financial institutions greater control over their local operations. In the previous year, the securities regulator introduced new regulations to streamline the process for domestic companies seeking overseas listings. Additionally, Lawrence Summers, President Emeritus of Harvard University and former U.S. Treasury Secretary, engaged with key Chinese financial figures, including People’s Bank of China Governor Pan Gongsheng, discussing topics like the global economy and secular stagnation.
Summers’ visit to China also included a meeting with Shanghai Party Secretary Chen Jining. These engagements are part of a broader trend of increased in-person interactions between Chinese and U.S. officials, executives, and academics following the easing of Covid-19 travel restrictions.
In a related development, China’s Premier Li Qiang is scheduled to address the World Economic Forum’s annual summit in Davos, Switzerland, underscoring China’s proactive stance in engaging with the global economic community.
This series of meetings and announcements indicate China’s proactive efforts to reassure and attract foreign investors, signaling a more welcoming environment for international financial institutions and capital.