China to monitor firms’ overseas investments

2017-11-30 01:28:45 GMT2017-11-30 09:28:45(Beijing Time) Sina English

REGULATORS issued guidelines Tuesday for the establishment of a system to track overseas investments with the aim of preventing tax fraud, money laundering, illegal financing, and activities damaging the country’s reputation.

In a statement on its website, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) warned that the government will record and tally instances of laws and regulations being broken in China or abroad, and offenders would be punished.

The plan, jointly issued by 28 government departments, is part of efforts to regulate firms’ overseas investments and business activities as China’s influence in the global economy grows, especially through its Belt and Road Initiative.

In addition to illegal activities, the guidelines specifically say actions that “violate international conventions and resolutions of the United Nations, or that disrupt foreign economic cooperation, adversely impact the Belt and Road Initiative, or harm China’s reputation” will be recorded.

The guidelines also focus on monitoring cross-border capital flows by insisting overseas deals are reasonable and disclosures are accurate.

China started to clamp down on capital outflows last year after its foreign currency reserves fell by nearly US$1 trillion. In August, the government laid out rules restricting investments in property, hotel, film, entertainment and sports. But the government also encouraged companies to support the nation’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Companies or individuals that break rules will be penalized in various ways. Authorities could reject their applications for overseas investments and foreign exchange purchases, restrict access to government subsidies and refuse to sell State land, the NDRC said.

Records of infractions will be available publicly through the government’s website, the notice said. No timetable for implementing the system was given.

Authorities responsible for vetting applications to set up banks or acquire stakes in financial firms will be able to refer to the records before granting approval.

China’s non-financial outbound direct investment from January to October fell 40.9 percent year on year to US$86.31 billion, according to the Ministry of Commerce.(Shenzhen Daily-Agencies)

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