Notice on Further Improvements in the Filing for Foreign Investments in Real Estate

To promote the healthy and steady development of the real estate market, and further improve the management of foreign investment in real estate, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange promulgated the following notice on 6 November 2015.

  1. To further streamline the management of foreign-invested real estate enterprises, local commercial authorities will grant approval to the establishment and changes of the foreign- invested real estate enterprises according to the requirements of foreign investment law and legislations. Related information should be submitted to the foreign investment management information system as required.
  2. Filing announcements posted on the website of the Ministry of Commerce will be cancelled. Foreign-invested real estate enterprises may complete the foreign exchange registration procedures under the category of foreign investor’s direct investment at the banks as required by the foreign exchange management regulations.
  3. To strengthen follow ups and monitoring, the Ministry of Commerce will conduct quarterly random checks on foreign-invested real estate enterprises. The leader of the provincial commercial authorities should submit the assessment report of the enterprises being checked within five days to the Ministry of Commerce after the random check notification is received. The Ministry will increase the penalties and disclose details of the enterprises in violation of the law discovered during the random check, as well as disclosing, criticising and black-listing the departments which have violated the law in the assessment and granting approval which will be disclosed on the website of the MOFCOM. Officials from various levels should conduct stringent investigations into enterprises or their investors in violation of the legations or those failed to submit the related information on the property projects, MOFCOM will also strengthen its policy of randomly checking black-listed foreign-invested real estate enterprises and their investors, as well as approval authorities with unethical approval records.
  4. This notice is effective from the date it is promulgated.

Notice on Further Improvements in the Filing for Foreign Investments in Real Estate

Mainland and Macao Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement Agreement on Trade in Services Signed in Macao

With the approval of the State Council, the Agreement on Trade in Services under the Mainland and Macao Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) (the Agreement) was signed by the Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen and the Acting Chief Executive of the Macao SAR and Secretary for Economy and Finance of the Macao SAR Leong Vai Tac in Macao on 28 November 2015. The Agreement will be officially implemented on 1 June 2016. The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR Yao Jian, Deputy Commissioner of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao SAR Pan Yundong and the Chief of Office of the Secretary for Economy and Finance of the Macao SAR Lok Kit Sim.

The agreement is the first free trade agreement in which the whole Mainland will fully open the trade in services areas through pre-access national treatment with a negative list, signifying that the whole Mainland and Macao basically achieve the liberalisation of trade in services. The agreement made principle provisions on its relation to CEPA, application range, obligation, national treatment, the most-favoured treatment, prudential principle on financial services, safeguard measures, exceptions clause, reserved restrictive measures, cross-border services, chapters on telecommunication and cultural services, requirement on special procedures and information, as well as investment facilitation. The annex of the agreement includes the restrictive measures the Mainland preserves for Macao with a negative list under commercial presence model and the Mainland’s new open
measures to Macao in cross-border services, telecommunications and cultural areas by means of positive list and restatement of the contents of the former CEPA.

Based on the pilot experience of implementing the Mainland and Macao CEPA Agreement on the Basic Realisation of Liberalisation of Trade in Services between Guangdong Province and Macao SAR (the “Guangdong Agreement”), the agreement aims to further expand the Mainland’s service industry to Macao. The highlights of the agreement are: 1. it is more open at higher levels. The number of areas that the Mainland opens to Macao in the service sector will reach 153, involving 95.6% of the WTO’s 160 service areas, 62 of which achieve the national treatment, with four new sectors compared with the Guangdong Agreement. In areas with a negative list, only 120 items of restrictive measures were made, 12 fewer than Guangdong Agreement’s 132 items. Of these, market access of 28 items of restrictive measures will be further liberalised. In areas with a positive list such as cross-border services, culture and telecommunications, the newly added open measures cover 28 items. 2) It is clearly stated that Macao will enjoy the most-favoured treatment in the whole Mainland. It means that all free trade agreements that China signs with other countries and regions also apply to Macao if they have measures better than CEPA. 3) It will further establish sophisticated management systems in line with the negative list. Except restrictive measures retained in the agreement, and the establishment of enterprises in the telecommunications and cultural areas and financial institutions, the Macao service providers investing in the Mainland’s service trade domain which is open to them. Any changes in the company establishment, contract or corporate constitution can be led on line on the government’s website, making it easier for Macao business to enter the Mainland market.

The Mainland and Macao’s basic achievement of liberalisation of trade in services is not only conducive to Macao’s diverse economic development, but also injecting new vigour into the Mainland’s service industry. It’s conducive to comprehensive and deep Mainland-Macao economic integration and common economic development.

Source: Ministry of Commerce