Note: The document should be based on Chinese. The English translation is for reference only.
Opinions on Further Promoting Foreign Investment in Suzhou Industrial Park
Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) recently proposed the Opinions on Further Promoting Foreign Investment (Opinions) to actively implement the requirements of the Foreign Investment Law of the PRC and the Master Plan for China (Jiangsu) Pilot Free Trade Zone (Guo Fa  No. 16) and seize the opportunities arising from national strategies including the integration of the Yangtze River Delta and the construction of free trade zones. It is designed to expand access to foreign investment, attract foreign investment, optimize foreign investment services, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors, building an all-round and high-standard new pattern of opening-up and new international heights of opening-up and cooperation.
I. Further widening market access to foreign investment
(1) SIP will fully implement the management system for pre- entry national treatment plus a negative list, widen market access to foreign investment and stay in line with international norms. It will open even wider to the outside world, and promote reform, development and innovation through opening-up. For foreign investment outside the negative list, no department or unit shall restrict access to foreign investment while effectively implementing and ensuring the post- entry national treatment of foreign-invested enterprises.
(2) SIP will advance the investment liberalization and facilitation of the Suzhou Area of the China (Jiangsu) Pilot Free Trade Zone; promote the opening-up of telecommunications, scientific research and technical services, education and health, cultural and creative tourism, and professional services among other fields; relax restrictions on registered capital, investment model and business scope; and purse a new round of high-quality opening-up.
(3) SIP will implement the national plan on further opening up the financial sector; make banking, insurance, securities, asset management, commercial factoring, financial leasing and financial technology open wider to the outside world; and relax or remove the caps on foreign ownership and other market access restrictions for financial institutions. It will deeply pilot investment in equity and enterprises of foreign investors.
II. Further attracting foreign investment
(4) With a focus on biomedicine, new generation of information technology, high-end equipment manufacturing, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology application and other strategic emerging industries, SIP will attract industry giants and “hidden champions” which are at the forefront of science and technology and direct the future development of the industries; encourage enterprises to introduce world-class products and technologies, and carry out technological transformation; promote the transformation and upgrading of processing trade enterprises; guide enterprises to invest in high-end manufacturing, intelligent manufacturing and green manufacturing; and build world-class advanced industrial clusters.
(5) SIP will encourage enterprises to expand functions of R&D design, global maintenance, testing certification, financial personnel, procurement, sales, trade settlement, high-end commercial services, professional services and other producer services; support enterprises to develop and establish various businesses and organizations including shared service centers, functional centers and global business services; ensure the integration of functions and the improvement of the value chain; and promote the development of modern service industry cluster.
(6) SIP will motivate foreign-invested enterprises, well-known overseas universities and research institutions to set up R&D centers, innovation centers, open innovation platforms and innovation project incubation and acceleration platforms. Support will be given to foreign enterprises and entrepreneurial teams in setting up various kinds of sci-tech projects. In addition to encouraging these enterprises to apply for high-tech enterprises, accelerating the commercialization and industrialization of their high-tech achievements, and ensuring equal access to policies on technological innovation, SIP will encourage foreign-invested enterprises to conduct in-depth cooperation with universities, research institutes and sci-tech enterprises in technology, human resources, capital, market and industrialization.
(7) SIP will make vigorous efforts to support the headquarters economy; attract high-quality Multinational companies to set up headquarters in SIP; optimize the criteria for identifying headquarters of multinational companies; encourage local headquarters enterprises to gather business, expand functions and upgrade energy levels, and implement headquarters policies on cross-border capital management and high-level talent introduction. The foreign-invested enterprises will be encouraged to list on the Main Board, Science and Technology Innovation Board, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Board as well as expand financing channels by debuting New Third Board and issuing corporate bonds in accordance with laws and regulations.
(8) SIP will optimize and upgrade the state-level overseas investment service platform; encourage enterprises to set up regional investment or management centers; and promote the expansion of both market and production capacity, technical cooperation, overseas M&As and other international business. It will work hard to pool funds, talents and information; establish and perfect an overseas investment professional service system; and create a new pattern of opening-up combining “bring in” with “going out” strategies.
III. Further optimizing foreign investment services
(9) SIP will continue to expand the network of overseas investment promotion channels; optimize and improve the working mechanism and service system for foreign investment promotion; further enrich the connotation of pro-business service brands; and provide professional, international and all-round investment promotion services in the whole process.
(10) SIP will launch a “Through Train” system on major foreign investment projects; optimize and improve the green channel; strengthen its ability in the coordination and services of key enterprises, projects and problems; actively exercise its economic and social administrative power granted by Jiangsu province; strength measures on department coordination and working innovation; advance trial projects; and build a new open economic system.
(11) SIP will create a more convenient environment for trade facilitation, promote the management of enterprise credit rating, and provide corresponding customs clearance conveniences for foreign-invested enterprises according to their credit rating. It will show support for qualified foreign-invested enterprises in trade model innovation. Based on the business characteristics of biomedicine, medical devices and integrated circuits among other major industries, SIP will improve customs clearance facilitation for R&D and clinical trial products as well as raw materials while working actively to explore a regulatory system compatible with the negative list management model.
(12) SIP will deepen the construction of high-level and international overseas talent service centers while providing support and convenience for high-level talents from foreign enterprises in social security, healthcare, child education, house purchasing and renting, and reward policy. It will further facilitate the entry, exit and work permits of foreign talents in addition to encouraging foreigners who have made outstanding contributions to apply for long-term residence.
(13) SIP will deepen reforms in streamlining administration, delegating powers and improving services in foreign investment, and work to simplify procedures and processes, improve efficiency and services in dealing with affairs of foreign-invested enterprises based on a unified online government service. SIP will establish a mechanism to allow for and address errors, and encourage foreign-invested enterprises to launch various business activities in accordance with laws.
(14) In accordance with the provisions of laws, administrative regulations and local regulations, SIP will formulate policies and measures to promote foreign investment facilitation within the scope of its statutory powers.
IV. Protecting legitimate rights and interests of foreign investment
(15) SIP will ensure foreign-invested enterprises have equal access to land use rights, capital, human resources and natural resources among other production factors in accordance with laws. It will provide support for foreign-invested enterprises to expand domestic market; actively create a market environment of fair competition for domestic and foreign investment; and ensure the fair treatment of domestic and foreign companies in government funds, land supply, tax preference, cost reduction, qualification licensing, standard setting, government procurement and bidding, construction of public service projects, scientific research cooperation projects, etc.
(16) Subject to laws and regulations, SIP will formulate regulatory documents on foreign investment, and solicit opinions and suggestions of foreign-invested enterprises and business associations.
(17) SIP will establish and improve the complaint and working mechanism of foreign-invested enterprises, and respond to and address foreign-invested enterprises’ various appeals and problems in a timely manner. Without the basis of laws and administrative regulations, SIP will not impair the legitimate rights and interests of foreign-invested enterprises, and increase their obligations or intervene in their normal production and operation activities.
(18) SIP will protect foreign investors’ investment, income and other legitimate rights and interests in accordance with laws. Foreign investors may freely conduct RMB or foreign exchange incoming and outgoing remittances in terms of capital contribution, profits, capital gains, asset disposal income, intellectual property license royalties, lawfully obtained compensation and liquidation income in accordance with laws.
(19) SIP will play the role of China (Suzhou) Intellectual Property Protection Center; learn from Singapore’s experience in intellectual property management and protection; further improve the intellectual property protection system for foreign investors and foreign-invested enterprises; strengthen administrative and judicial protection; and perfect the mechanism for better safeguarding intellectual property rights.
(20) SIP will earnestly fulfill its policy commitments to foreign investors and enterprises; enter into contracts with them according to laws; and not break the contracts for any reason. If contracts need to be changed for the State interests, society and public interests, SIP will give a fair and reasonable compensation for the losses of foreign investors and enterprises in accordance with laws.
The Opinions takes effect on October 12, 2019.
Suzhou Industrial Park Investment Promotion Board
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