[EN] CA – Your Investment, Our economy – Dec 2014
– YOUR INVESTMENT, OUR ECONOMY –
1. The Shanghai Free Trade Zone: a model for Chinese firms (Agatha Kratz)
2. China’s inward FDI: adapting to the times (Hongmei Ma)
3. Stepping up enforcement of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (Trey McArver)
4. Internationalising the renminbi, slowly (Jean-François Di Meglio)
This latest quarterly issue of China Analysis, focuses on four rather technical aspects of China’s on-going economic reforms. Drawing on Chinese sources, it offers a Chinese view on issues that are shaping the country’s relationship with Europe and the rest of the world. As such, it aims to help the European policy and business community understand what China’s leadership thinks about the following issues:
- 1. The implementation of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone was heralded as signalling the imminent lifting of capital controls in China. A year later this has not happened. Rather, the FTZ has been used to experiment with lighter public and administrative oversight of the economy.
- 2. China’s new anti-monopoly law has received a lot of international criticism in the past year, following investigations launched into a number of foreign companies. Effective enforcement of the law is seen in China as a key element in moving the country towards a modern market economy, but foreign investors fear it might be an economic policy tool to push foreign companies out of the market. However, Chinese sources show a debate in China that focuses, rather, on institutional competition between the NDRC and MOFCOM.
- 3. Although inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) have slowed in recent years, China remains the largest recipient of FDI among developing countries. Given the increasing scale of FDI projects and the diversification of modes of entry, China’s FDI regime has become obsolete. Our sources look at the on-going debate on China’s investment regime.
- 4. While China needs to review its exchange rate system, sources say caution is necessary in the pace of renminbi internationalisation. Before it can achieve full convertibility for its currency, China must deal with the constraints of external markets and the need to ensure stable growth within its own economy. China can benefit from the international economic crisis by exercising influence over the rules of the international monetary system, and must move away from restraint, towards a more committed and clearly defined role and influence globally.
The conclusion of this edition of China Analysis is that foreign investors and their partners in China should understand that the real debate is not around the tension between liberalisation and statist regulation but between those who support selective market reforms and the upholders of lucrative special interests who will argue against any change.