AmCham China Launches Report on Service Sector

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August 28, 2015 – Competition is essential to the successful development of a vibrant and world-class service sector and opening the market to foreign-invested service providers on a level playing field is key to China’s future economy, a report released by the American Chamber of Commerce in China said today. Titled Opening China’s Service Economy:

Opportunities and Challenges, the report also emphasizes the importance of agreeing a high-quality bilateral investment treaty between the U.S. and China that goes further in addressing the concerns of American companies grappling with the unique market conditions in China.  

“An open, dynamic and innovative service sector has the potential to transform China’s economy,” said AmCham China Chairman James Zimmerman. “Unlocking the potential of services in areas such as the financial sector, healthcare, education, and logistics would bring immense benefits to Chinese people and the companies they work for.”

Services Crucial to Economic Rebalancing and Growth

Since the start of the decade manufacturing output growth has halved to below 7 percent, and more than one in five AmCham China members involved in the resources and industrial sectors have moved or are planning to move capacity outside of China due to rising costs. The contribution of services to GDP is increasing, but remains below 50 percent, compared with around 80 percent in the US.

Today, the free and open foreign investment climate in the US has greatly contributed to the success of the service sector, and brought firms from around the world to compete and create high-skilled jobs for Americans. AmCham China believes that similar market openness can have a comparable impact in China. Nevertheless, while in a survey conducted last year 72 percent of AmCham China’s service member companies expressed optimism about growth in the domestic market, only 25 percent were optimistic about the regulatory environment.

Report Addresses Cross-sector Obstacles to Progress as well as Sector-specific Recommendations:

  • Banking, Capital Markets, and E-Payment
  • Construction, Engineering, and Design
  • Healthcare Services
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Insurance
  • Legal Services
  • Media and Entertainment
  • Real Estate
  • Retail, E-Commerce, Distribution, and Logistics

Benefits of a High-Quality Bilateral Investment Treaty

Many of the most restricted sectors are in services, so the U.S.-China Bilateral Investment Treaty will have most impact in this area, providing long-term assurances for investment in China’s future. AmCham China hopes that both the US and Chinese governments see the benefit of cooperation in concluding a high-standard treaty as soon as possible. AmCham China urges both sides to review the concerns listed in the report and consider their likely adverse impact on future US investments and operations in the service sector in China.

In the report AmCham China strongly recommends significant improvements in:

Transparency and Due Process: Unclear investment approval procedures, lack of information regarding regulatory decisions, and the inability to access open and fair dispute procedures have been a primary concern reported by the majority of AmCham China service members.

Data localization: A series of recent draft laws and regulations propose measures that would greatly limit the ability of service providers to effectively use data within their global infrastructures and supply-chains, limiting the positive impact of future openings.

Government support for state-owned enterprises and designated monopolies: Numerous service industries in China face an uneven playing field due to government support for state-owned enterprises and designated oligopolies within their sectors. Such government preferences, and the benefits the state-owned enterprises receive, restrict both foreign and domestic companies’ ability to operate in the market.

Licensing regimes that cater to domestic companies and state-owned enterprises: Due to the existence of superseding industrial policies, our members are concerned that existing procedures under China’s domestic investment regime will continue to adhere to policies that discriminate against foreign-invested companies.

Overly broad definitions of national security: China’s new National Security Law includes broad economic, cultural, and social interests in its definition of national security, raising concerns as to the potential impact of national security reviews on foreign investment in the service sector.

A bilingual version of the report can be found on the AmCham China website.

About AmCham China

The American Chamber of Commerce in the People's Republic of China is a non-profit, non-governmental organization whose membership comprises more than 3,800 individuals from over 1,000 companies operating across China. The chamber's nationwide mission is to help American companies succeed in China through advocacy, information, networking and business support services. AmCham China is the only officially recognized chamber of commerce representing American business in mainland China. With offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Shenyang and Wuhan, AmCham China has more than 60 working groups, and holds more than 300 events each year. Visit: www.amchamchina.org

For more information, please contact:

Jane Song

Tel: (8610) 8519-0835

Email: jsong@amchamchina.org


中国美国商会敦促服务业市场进一步开放

尽早达成高质量的美中双边投资协定

2015年08月28日 -中国美国商会今日发布题为《走向开放的中国服务业:机遇与挑战》的政策聚焦报告。报告强调:打造一个生机勃勃、具备世界水准的服务行业过程中,市场竞争必不可少。向外资服务供应商开放市场,提供公平的竞争环境,是中国未来经济发展的关键。报告同时强调了达成一份高质量的双边投资协定的重要性。协定将进一步解决在华经营美资企业在中国独特的市场环境下遇到的问题。

中国美国商会主席吉莫曼称:“一个开放、创新、充满活力的服务业将有助于中国经济转型。发掘服务行业在金融、医疗、教育和物流领域的潜力,对中国人民及其所在公司都大有裨益。”

服务业对经济的平衡和增长至关重要

随着近十年来制造业产量增长减半至7%以下,超过1/5的涉足能源和工业领域的中国美国商会会员因成本增加而计划或已经从中国撤资。在中国,虽然服务行业对国民生产总值的贡献有所增加,但依然低于50%,相比之下,美国服务业已占到国内生产总值近80%。

如今,美国服务业的成功,极大程度上得益于自由开放的外商投资环境。这样的环境也吸引了来自世界各地的企业竞先为美国人民创造大量高技能就业岗位。中国美国商会相信,类似的市场开放程度可以在中国产生与美国类似的影响。然而,根据去年由中国美国商会展开的调查显示,有72%的服务业相关会员公司对国内市场的发展表示乐观,但仅有25%的会员对中国监管环境持乐观态度。

报告提出了影响跨行业发展的问题,同时也给出了对具体行业的建议:

  • 银行、资本市场及电子支付
  • 建造、工程及设计
  • 医疗服务
  • 信息通信技术
  • 保险业
  • 法律服务
  • 媒体与娱乐
  • 房地产
  • 零售、电子商务、分销和物流

高质量的双边投资协定的意义

鉴于很多受限的领域都属服务行业,而中美双边投资协定恰好将会对这一领域产生影响,并为未来中国经济的发展提供长效的保障。中国美国商会期望美中两国政府能够看到合作带来的益处,其中包括能够早日就高质量的协定达成一致。我们敦促双方认真思考报告中列及的问题,以及这些问题可能会给未来美国服务业在华投资和经营所带来的不利影响。

中国美国商会在报告中强烈建议就以下几方进行改进:

透明度和正当程序:根据我们大多数服务业会员的报告,投资审批程序不明确、缺乏监管决策信息和公开而公平的争端解决程序已经成为他们的主要担心问题。

数据本地化:最近的一系列法律法规草案提出了一些措施,而这些措施将极大地限制服务提供商有效使用其全球基础设施和供应链中数据的能力,并且将限制未来服务业开放本应产生的积极影响。

政府支持国有企业和指定垄断企业:由于在行业内政府支持国有企业和指定垄断企业,因此,在中国许多服务行业都面临着不公平竞争环境。此类政府偏好以及国有企业所获

得的利益限制了国外和国内企业的市场运作能力。

迎合国内公司和国有企业的许可制度:由于替代产业政策的存在,我们的会员担心中国国内投资制度下的现有程序将继续延续歧视外资企业的政策。

国家安全的定义过于宽泛:中国新的《国家安全法》在定义国家安全时宽泛地将经济、文化、社会利益包括在内,因此导致外界担心这可能会对与服务业外商投资相关的国家

安全审查带来潜在影响。

双语版报告可以在中国美国商会官方网站下载

关于中国美国商会

中国美国商会是一家非盈利、非政府性质的组织,其会员超过3800人,来自在中国经营的1000多家公司。通过宣传推广、信息共享、互动交流和业务支持服务,中国美国商会旨在帮助美国企业在华顺利发展。中国美国商会是唯一被正式认可代表美国企业在华利益的组织,在北京、天津、大连、沈阳和武汉设有办事处。中国美国商会有60多个工作小组,每年举办活动有超过300个。具体参见: www.amchamchina.org

更多详情, 请联系:

Jane Song

Tel: (8610) 8519-0835

Email: jsong@amchamchina.org