The State Council issued Notice (Guofa  No.5, Circular 5) in January 2017, setting out 20 measures (the 20 Measures) to attract more foreign investment. Surrounding the theme of "further actions", Circular 5 raises 20 specific tasks in three aspects including expanding the opening-up to foreign investment, creating a fair competition environment and attracting foreign investment, and appoints the relevant in-charge governmental bodies to implement the tasks. Circular 5 was released with the aim to improve the investment environment for foreign capital in China and respond to the message that President Xi Jinping has delivered in some of his speeches - China will keep its door wide open and defend globalisation. In 2016, China issued the Outline of the 13th Five-Year Plan which have also listed the expansion of the opening-up to foreign investment to actively attract foreign investment and advanced technology as the development direction during the next five years.
Most of the 20 Measures are directional and instructional which remain to be further clarified in follow-up policies to be released by the relevant governmental departments. Nevertheless, the message it conveys indicates there will be more investment opportunities and convenience to foreign investors in the future which deserves our attention. Foreign enterprises (FEs) can seek new investment opportunities and adjust their investment strategies in China by understanding the direction of the 20 Measures and combining that with China's recent reforms on foreign investment administration as well as the accompanied facilitated measures.
In this issue of News Flash, we would like to analyse those measures which are most relevant to foreign investors and discuss both the opportunities and matters which need to be considered by them in light of the recent developments of foreign investment policies in China.