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Overseas firms can still enjoy preferential treatment

BEIJING – Foreign enterprises doing business in China have been assured that they could continue to enjoy certain preferential investment policies compared with their domestic counterparts.

The Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Qishan said recently in response to complaints by foreign companies about the investment environment in China, said: “In many sectors, the treatment provided for foreign businesses are still better than those for Chinese domestic companies.”

“If there was anything the Chinese government could improve, it could be market access,” he added.

Foreign businesses have been enjoying preferential policies, including lower taxes and cheaper land and resources compared with domestic players during the last three decades, Wang told member companies of the China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment.

Starting December 2010, China began to levy a surtax for municipal maintenance and construction and an education surtax on foreign enterprises, which signaled unification of the tax system among companies from home and abroad.

But in line with a regulation to encourage foreign investment issued by the State Council in April 2010, some foreign-funded firms still enjoy preferential treatment ranging from lower land prices to more favourable policies for setting up high-tech companies.

According to media report, Wang said foreign enterprises are more and more concerned about the soft business environment in China, including its “legal system and governance, fairness and transparency”.

“Intellectual property rights protection is the biggest concern for all,” he said, adding that China has been committed to creating a favorable environment for them.

SOURCE: China Daily

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