Beijing will open its financial sector wider to the world in three years, as the city undertakes a major push to deepen reform and opening-up in the service industry, a vice-mayor said on Wednesday.
Yin Yong, vice-mayor of Beijing, said the financial sector is on the top of the list of the capital city's opening-up undertakings. One of the major tasks is to strengthen the city's role as a financial management center, which can facilitate China's financial reform and opening-up, as well as risk prevention, he said.
He made the remarks at a news conference, introducing in detail a three-year action plan for Beijing to continue opening up its service sector. The plan gained approval from the State Council in January.
Among the 177 measures listed in the plan, those concerning the financial sector account for more than 25 percent, Yin said.
This year, Beijing plans to "launch a series of heavyweight financial institutions, foster and develop financial technology and green finance, promote the sector's opening-up and innovation, and improve the supervision system," Yin said.
For the insurance, asset management and securities industries, Beijing will raise the foreign ownership cap to 51 percent this year, Yin said. "The city will remove the limit completely in two years."
The plan said Beijing should step up efforts to streamline administration, delegate power to lower levels and improve regulation and services, seek to open the service sector wider, and create a sound business environment.
Yin said Beijing will further optimize the business environment in the capital city for foreign investors, foreign companies and foreign talents. For instance, the city will explore the mode for negative list management in all fields, he said. A negative list defines areas in which foreign enterprises are not allowed to invest.
Beijing started to commit itself to service sector opening-up in 2015, when the State Council approved the pilot programs. Li Chenggang, assistant minister of commerce, said the pilot programs have improved the development of modern services in Beijing and played a leading role in the country.
Li said the Ministry of Commerce will join the city to speed up the implementation of the measures and make breakthroughs in service sector development, in order to offer more useful experiences for advancing a new round of high-level opening-up nationwide and building an open economy.
For years, China has been dedicated to shifting its economic growth model toward one driven by consumption, services and innovation. Data showed the service sector has been contributing more to the country's economic growth.
The sector's value-added output accounted for 52.2 percent of GDP in 2018, 0.3 percentage point higher than the previous year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.