China Pledges to Ease Market Access, Deepen SOE Reform

(Bloomberg) --

China’s central government promised to deepen reforms at state-owned firms and ease access for foreign companies as the country prepares for its annual parliamentary sessions.

Beijing said it would allow foreign companies to participate in more sectors and lower tariffs to expand imports of goods and services as part of a sweeping document on improving the country’s “socialist market economy,” issued by the Central Committee of the ruling Communist Party as well as the State Council and published by the official Xinhua news agency.

The government also pledged to push forward the opening up of its oil and gas pipeline network and liberalize natural gas prices at the appropriate time. The proposal reiterated the need to deepen interest rate reform, while steadily promoting the internationalization of the yuan.

Investors are hopeful that the upcoming National People’s Congress will revive the market, with specific stimulus measures unveiled and infrastructure and other projects pushed forward after lawmakers approve the government’s budget. The gathering of China’s top legislature usually takes place in early March but was postponed to May 22 this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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