China’s draft foreign investment law will give foreign investors more confidence and promote the growth of the economy, according to Maurice Greenberg, chairman and CEO of US-based insurer Starr Companies.
The insurance magnate said the draft law addresses some major concerns of foreign investors and promises to resolve them.
The draft foreign investment law, which was presented to the National People’s Congress on March 8 and is set to be voted on March 15, will significantly change the operating environment for foreign companies if approved.
Under the draft law, foreign companies will receive greater intellectual property protection, forced technology transfers will be forbidden, and the negative list of sectors in which overseas companies cannot operate will be reduced.
“One of the big problems is that foreign companies, (including) US companies doing business in China, want to be treated the same way as Chinese companies,” Greenberg said.
“I believe that’s recognized now.
“Having transparent rules and regulations that foreign investors understand and can rely on — that gives confidence to the foreign investors, and it’s very good for China.”
Greenberg also said changing the rules will add to the growth of the economy. “More foreign investments, more confidence in the foreign investors — that will be very good for the economy,” he said.
By the end of last year, about 960,000 foreign-invested enterprises had been set up in China, with accumulated foreign direct investment exceeding $2.1 trillion. China advanced to a global ranking of 46 in terms of ease of doing business last year, up from 78th place in 2017, according to the World Bank Group.
Greenberg, one of 10 foreigners awarded the China Reform Friendship Medal by President Xi Jinping last year, said trade talks between the Chinese and US governments were “going forward quite well”.