BEIJING — China has released its new, shortened negative lists for foreign investment amid efforts to further improve its business environment and boost foreign investors’ confidence.
The number of sectors that foreign investors are restricted from entering will be cut to 33 in the 2020 version of the negative list from 40 in the 2019 version, according to a statement jointly released by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce on June 24.
According to the statement, the negative list for pilot free trade zones was reduced to 30 from 37. The two new negative lists will take effect on July 23. Insiders noted that China has shortened the lists for four consecutive years, showing the country’s resolve to resolutely support economic globalization and multinational investment
In the future, China is expected to further shorten the negative lists in an effort to substantially broaden market access for foreign investment.
According to World Investment Report 2020 released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows are forecast to shrank 40 %
year on year to below 1 trillion U.S. dollars this year, the lowest in the past 15 years, as the coronavirus pandemic rippled through the world. Under this context, the latest negative lists for foreign investment will not only be conductive to China’s economic recovery, but also help multinational companies restore production and operation and ramp up investment, thus making a positive contribution to promoting the stability of global trade and investment, keeping global industrial and supply chains stable and enhancing the world’s economic vitality, said Li Dawei, research fellow at Academy of
Cui Fan, a trade expert at the University of International Business and Economics, noted that the reduction of the negative lists is a significant step for China to push forward investment liberalization. Li also pointed out that the new lists showcased the country’s determination to accelerate the high-level reform and opening up and further build up consensus in an attempt to push for the in-depth development of globalization. Besides, China’s continuous efforts to expand reform and opening up strengthened foreign investors’ confidence. Data showed that foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland, in actual use, expanded by 7.5 % year on year to 68.63 billion yuan in May.
Cui stressed that the reduction of each negative list item means that one more area is available to foreign investment, which will bring more foreign capital inflows. U.S. electric carmaker Tesla opened its first gigafactory outside the United States in Shanghai after China scrapped foreign shareholding limits on manufactures of new energy vehicles and special-purpose vehicles in 2018.
It is foreseeable that the cancellation of foreign ownership caps on commercial vehicle manufacturing this year and the liberalization of foreign ownership limits on passenger vehicles by 2022 will lure more foreign vehicle manufactures to make investment in China. (By Yang Yifan with Xinhua Silk Road, [email protected]
Not wanting to forego on their annual Big Walk, parents, teachers and learners of Deutsche Höhere Privatschule in Windhoek had to come up with an innovative way to continue this major event.
The solution was many small walks by individual families and groups which were then shared on the school’s social media channels to make it one Big Walk.
When the school explained its conundrum to the learners, the response was overwhelming. About 200 parents, learners, alumni, staff and supporters of the school sent photos and videos showing them individually, as a family, with their classmates or friends in action to support a good cause: The participants went hiking, dancing, cycling and water skiing, walking, jogging, swimming, jumping on the trampoline, riding, playing cricket, basketball, judo or even chopping wood.
This was all done on Saturday, 27 July, which would have been the date for the conventional Big Walk.
In a statement, the school noted “The aim was to connect the school community, to have fun together even if you cannot celebrate together, and this has inspired many families. These activities were shared on the social media channels of the DHPS, the ideas of the classes, the learners and the participants of the Big Walk were updated every minute, videos and photos were published and everybody felt like being there and celebrating the day together.”
The DHPS Big Walk is usually one of the most important fundraising events of the primary section, and in recent years, the proceeds have been used to cover expenses for school material such as whiteboards in all classrooms or shade nets and jungle gyms for the playground. This year, the fundraising is based on voluntary contributions to the DHPS Corona Fund to support families in the school community who are particularly affected by the crisis.
Friends and family members of the Verrinder Family chose the mountains on Windhoek’s eastern boundary as the setting for their small walk. In the front from the left, Myka List, Damu Alberto, Georg Verrinder and Julius Verrinder. At the back, Amilcar Alberto, Ayana Alberto and James Verrinder.
Two joint ventures in the Frans Indongo Group were consolidated this week with the acquisition of Tongaat Hulett Namibia by Bokomo Namibia.
Chief Executive of Bokomo Namibia, Hubertus Hamm said Bokomo now has significant scale “which allows us to compete more effectively, and thus enables us to provide a large range of complementary food and beverage products to our valued customers and consumers across Namibia.”
Bokomo was a distribution branch of the parent company in South Africa, Pioneer Foods, until 2007 when the Frans Indongo Group acquired 50% shareholding of the local operation and it became a joint venture. Based in Windhoek, Bokomo Namibia focuses on wheaten flour, maize meal and pasta production and distributes a wide range of Pioneer Foods Group products in the region. It operates a wheat and maize mill as well as a pasta plant.
Tongaat Hulett Namibia is a joint venture between Tongaat Hulett South Africa and the Frans Indongo Group. Tongaat Hulett is a strong, well-established business and the merger sees its market-leading brand, Marathon Sugar, join a number of well-known household brand names manufactured and/or distributed by Bokomo Namibia.
Chief Executive of the Frans Indongo Group, Kobus van Graan said “Serving the community is at the heart of the group’s agenda and by bringing two of our important investments together, under one umbrella, we believe we are well-suited to continue driving the economic stability of an independent Namibia.”
The merger was approved by the Competition Commission on condition that no employee will be retrenched and that new employment contracts will not be less favourable than when they worked for Tongaat Hulett.
Since buying into Bokomo Namibia in 2007, the Frans Indongo Group’s focus has shifted from the retail industry to investment opportunities in manufacturing, marketing and distribution.
Caption: Hubertus Hamm (right), Bokomo Namibia’s Chief Executive, welcomes Tongaat Hulett Namibia’s former General Manager, Gielie van Zyl to the Bokomo family. Van Zyl is the new Chief Commercial Officer of the merged entity.