China Lifts Procurement Rules That Hurt Foreign Companies

Posted June 30th, 2011 at 6:30 am (UTC-5)
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China says three regulations limiting the ability of foreign companies to bid on government contracts will be lifted beginning Friday.

In a posting on its website, the finance ministry says that from July 1 it will no longer enforce the rules, which have long caused U.S. and European companies to complain of unfair discrimination. Beijing imposed the rules as part of an “indigenous innovation” policy designed to encourage Chinese companies to expand into the high-tech field.

Chinese President Hu Jintao indicated a willingness to amend China’s rules on government procurement during a visit to Washington in January. The issue was also discussed during high-profile economic talks between the two countries in May.

John Frisbie, chairman of the U.S.-China Business Council, welcomed the move as an “important step” toward the fulfillment of Chinese government promises. He said other rules are still in place linking indigenous innovation to government procurement.