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Interpretation on the Implementation Opinions on Policies for Expanding Opening up and Vigorously Using Foreign Capital

Date:2018-12-28 15:03

  Interpretation on the Implementation Opinions on Policies for Expanding Opening up and Vigorously

Using Foreign Capital

  To implement in depth the Notice of the State Council on Several Measures for Expanding Opening Up and Vigorously Using Foreign Capital (No.5 [2017] of the State Council) and Opinions on Certain Policies for Expanding Opening Up and Vigorously Using Foreign Capital (No.33 [2017] of Jiangsu Provincial Government) in accordance with the instruments of the Municipal Party Committee and the Municipal Government, the city has formulated the Implementation Opinions on Policies for Expanding Opening Up and Vigorously Using Foreign Capital (No.68[2017] of Suzhou Municipal Government, hereinafter referred to as the Implementation Opinions), which is interpreted as follows:

  I. Background and Considerations

  The Implementation Opinions was formulated on the basis of three facts. First, the No.5 document of the State Council is a mobilization order for further promoting foreign investment though further opening up, creating fair competition environment and attracting more foreign investment; and Jiangsu Province, with its focuses on the relatively weak links in business environment and investment promotion, introduced the No.33 document to guide the work. Second, policies should be renewed in the context of the transformation of foreign investment in Suzhou featuring slowdown of the expansion, upgrading of the structure and bottleneck of resources, etc. Third, since the Several Opinions on Promoting Foreign Investment issued by the city last year is yet to be more comprehensive, this Implementation Opinions, conforming to the policy demands, aims to “pick up the baton” and to create good environment for foreign investment.

  There are mainly three considerations in drafting the Implementation Opinions. The first is to conform to the national and provincial policies and enhance their effectiveness and operability by putting into effect the detailed implementation methods. The second is to highlight the integration and re-innovation of polices, which relies on forming “policy-making tanks” of the city based on its previous experiences, and learning from others’ advanced practices. The third is to have the policies play their role in leading and stimulating the work of investment promotion, so that work is done in the municipal level and independent innovation is unfolded by local governments.

  II. Main Parts

  The Implementation Opinions is divided into three parts, with 23 items in total:

  Part one: Developing new driving forces for investment promotion. The Implementation Opinions suggests that the municipal government should play its guiding role in investment directions and policies should be equally applicable to oversea entities in fields like manufacturing industry, service industry, scientific and technological innovation, headquarters economy and talents recruitment, so as to develop new drivers for promoting foreign investment

  Part two: Creating a market environment for fair competition. In order to improve the environment for foreign investment, targeted initiatives have been put forward in terms of constructing fair competition institutions, offering foreign capital accesses to government procurement, encouraging foreign-funded enterprises to engage in public projects, protecting the intellectual property rights of the enterprises, reducing their operating cost, expanding channels for them to obtain financing and promoting management for foreign exchange and foreign debt, etc.

  Part three: Comprehensively promoting foreign investment attraction for the new era. To achieve the goal, relevant policies have been formulate in aspects of stepping up institutions for responsibilities undertaking, supplying more policies for projects, exploring market-based operations, deepening the investment promotion, building platforms and carriers, optimizing land use for projects, improving government services, tightening supervision, constructing investment teams, enforcing work assessment and incentives and establishing a close and clear political-business relationship for the new era, etc.

  III. Characteristics

  (1) Fair implementation of the existing policies. The Implementation Opinions refers to some previous policies of the city which boasts its good business environment and policy foundations. In the aspect of upgrading manufacturing industry, the Implementation Opinions suggests that industry support policies shall be equally accessible to foreign-funded enterprises (projects) such as Several Measures for Building Advanced Manufacturing Bases, Certain Polices for Accelerating the Application of Smart Equipment and the Internet of Things, Implementation Opinions on Advancing the “Internet Plus” Action, Several Policies for Promoting the Development of Software and Integrated Circuits Industries and Implementation Opinions on Promoting the Innovative Development of Processing Trade.

  In the aspect of expanding opening-up of the service industry, special support policies are open to foreign capital, including Several Policies for Promoting the Development of Cross-Border E-Commerce Comprehensive Pilot Zone in China (Suzhou), Implementation Plan for the Pilot Projects of Innovative Development of Trade in Services and Seven Major Action Plans for Key Pilot Industries, as well as Several Opinions on Policies for Promoting Big Data Applications and Industrial Development.

  In the aspect of encouraging scientific and technological innovation, the city carries out national policies including the Implementation Plan for Innovation-Driven Development Strategy, Several Measures for Improving Scientific and Technological Innovation and Ten Key Projects for Innovative Development. The polices are appropriate for foreign-funded enterprises (projects), unless otherwise noted.

  In the aspect of attracting and recruiting talents, policies are also appropriate for qualified oversea talents and innovative and entrepreneurial groups, for instance, Several Measures of Training Competent Personnel as a Priority and Detailed Rules on Gusu’s Talent Program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

  In the aspect of guiding fair competitions, the Implementation Opinions on the Public-Private Partnership Model are carried out in public services. In addition, the Implementation Opinions encourages foreign investment to engage in public projects, accelerates the building of powerful intellectual property city and effectively protects the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investment and oversea talents.

  In the aspect of reducing operating costs, the Implementation Opinions proposes that Financial Support for Enterprises’ Independent Innovation Action Plan and the Implementation Opinions on the Intensive Use of Resources apply to foreign-funded enterprises, and that subsidies shall be given to foreign-funded enterprises for staff training, in accordance with Implementation Measures for Conducting Vocational Training for Migrant Workers and Notice on Subsidizing Vocational Training for Local Workers.

  All the above-mentioned policies are equitably practical to all foreign entities. Suzhou’s thorough implementation of national and provincial policies is one of the bright spots of the Implementation Opinions.

  (2) Learning from newly-issued policies. The Implementation Opinions learns from related policies newly introduced by 20 provinces and cities. Shanghai’s policies, for example, are for reference to support foreign investment’s participation in local technology R&D market, to encourage the entry of foreign-funded enterprise’ independent intellectual property rights to local transactions, to optimize the supervision of special items for biomedical R&D, to relax work-type residence permit for foreign talents and to overall plan the land use for key projects. Learning from Fujian, support polices for foreigners have been put into trial use in terms of housing, medical care, personal income tax, children's education, residence and entry and exit. Under the inspiration of Zhejiang and Shanghai, the Implementation Opinions ensures fair treatment for foreign capital in scientific research innovation, technological upgrading, industrial upgrading, operational function expansion, talent introduction, protection of intellectual property, participation in standardized construction, business license and qualification application; at the same time, it offers to foreign-funded enterprises certificate of Chinese tax resident in order to facilitate their enjoyment of preferential treatment.

  Learning from others, the Implementation Opinions takes into consideration the development features of foreign investment and rich resources of the city. Instead of using fiscal incentives or measures for simply recruiting projects, it focuses more on supervision facilitation, business environment optimization, resources concentration, mechanism innovation and the like.

  (3) Stimulating the innovation of policies. To intensify the work of investment promotion, the Implementation Opinions places emphasis on the assessment and incentive mechanism and proposes to allocate 50 million yuan from municipal dedicated fund to reward advanced areas that guarantee both the quantity and the quality of foreign investment. Meanwhile, it supports regions and state-level development zones to formulate their own preferential policies without violating higher-level policies and laws.

  Suzhou Municipal Bureau of Commerce

  June 2018