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Centering on Stabilizing Foreign Investment, the Ministry of Commerce Improves Services for Foreign Invested Enterprises and Investment Attraction

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pneumonia, due to factors such as the extension of the Spring Festival holiday and the delay of resuming work, the production and operation of foreign invested enterprises and investment attraction in some regions have been affected. To implement the decisions and deployments of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus pneumonia, on February 10, the General Office of the Ministry of Commerce printed and issued the Circular on Actively Responding to the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia and Improving the Services for Foreign Invested Enterprises and Investment Attraction (hereinafter referred to as the Circular). Based on the goal of stabilizing foreign investment, and on the premise of effectively preventing and controlling the epidemic, every effort should be made to serve foreign invested enterprises and to attract overseas investment. The Circular requires local commercial departments:


First, to actively help foreign invested enterprises to resume normal production and operations in an orderly manner. On the premise of good prevention and control of epidemic, in accordance with the unified arrangements of local governments, all preparations for resuming work shall be assisted, and foreign invested enterprises shall be strongly supported to resume work and production in an orderly manner. For foreign invested enterprises that produce protective equipment such as medical protective clothing, masks and goggles, in accordance with the unified deployment, special procedures should be adopted to promptly organize the resumption of work and production, and fully meet their demands. Enterprises shall be actively assisted in purchasing necessary protective materials, and be guided to formulate work plans for epidemic response based on actual situations so as to strictly carry out a variety of internal prevention and control measures. Labor demand of enterprises should be fully understood, and network platforms and other means should be made full use of to help connect the supply of and demand for labor to safeguard enterprises in resuming production and employment. Assistance should be offered to foreign invested enterprises in solving difficulties they may meet in resuming production and complaints from foreign invested enterprises should be properly handled. The lives of foreign employees and their families in China should be cared for, and efforts should be made in protecting them.


Second, to strengthen the service and support for large foreign investment projects. The progress of large foreign investment projects under discussion should be closely tracked; the progress of foreign investors’ decision-making should be timely known; communication should be strengthened, so as to actively promote investment cooperation as well as the signing of projects as early as possible. The construction of large foreign investment projects should be promoted; online government services should be improved; fast channels for government services should be established; relevant departments should be coordinated to enhance safeguard in terms of land use, labor, water and electricity supply, in order to ensure that the investment of enterprises is carried out as planned and to minimize the impact of the epidemic. The contact mechanism for major foreign investment projects should be established and improved to timely grasp the progress of the projects by adding no trouble but offering more help. Full-process matchmaking services should be provided to actively coordinate and resolve the typical difficulties encountered in project construction.


Third, to innovate and optimize the way of attracting investment. In response to the current problems such as the blocked flow of people, the advantages of the Internet platform should be leveraged; various investment resources should be integrated; and online investment attraction should be actively promoted through online negotiations, video conferences, and online signing, so as to constantly enhance investment promotion and attraction. The reserve of investment attraction projects should be further improved; a batch of attractive and potential projects shall be selected and released online; the connection with foreign investors in the early stage should be facilitated. The national and local overseas investment agencies and platforms should be made full use of to enhance the publicity and promotion of investment environment and cooperation projects. Cooperation with intermediary organizations such as various overseas business associations should be strengthened. Entrusted investment attraction and enterprise-oriented investment attraction should be actively carried out, and flexible and diverse investment activities should be organized, so as to promote the signing of a number of new projects.


Fourth, to provide targeted assistance according to local situations. The communication and coordination with local market regulatory departments should be strengthened, and the reporting system for foreign investment information should be implemented, in order to ensure that information reporting is timely, true, accurate, and complete. The statistical work for foreign investment should be optimized and strengthened; informatization methods should be made full use of to strengthen research, judgment and warning, as well as to timely grasp the impacts of the epidemic on foreign invested enterprises in various industries and fields; the contact mechanism with associations of foreign invested enterprises in various regions and foreign chambers of commerce should be strengthened to timely understand the production, operation and investment trends of member enterprises so as to provide targeted services and guidance. Focusing on the different impacts of the epidemic on various types of foreign invested enterprises, different policies shall be implemented, with one policy for one enterprise and targeted assistance measures should be adopted with relevant departments to help enterprises overcome difficulties.


Fifth, to constantly optimize the business environment. Regulations and policies such as the Foreign Investment Law and its regulations for implementation and the Opinions of the State Council on Further Improving the Work of Utilizing Foreign Investment (the State Council [2019] No. 23) should be fully implemented; relevant publicity and interpretation should be strengthened to create a more stable, fair, transparent, and predictable investment environment. Various policies on helping enterprises and stabilizing employment launched recently by the national and local governments should be sorted out; foreign invested enterprises should be guided to make good and full use of various assistance policies on fiscal, finance, taxation, social security, employment, and government procurement, and domestic and foreign invested enterprises should be treated equally, so that the impacts of the epidemic can be minimized. All localities should compile and publish guidelines on foreign investment as soon as possible, release service guidelines, project information and related data to provide services and convenience for foreign investment, and to continuously optimize the business environment.