China's services sector should be further opened to more foreign investment, as was suggested at the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee, which opened in Beijing in the last week of October.

At the four-day meeting, leaders agreed to streamline the foreign investment approval process by adopting the 'negative list' model nationwide, which is designed to attract and better allocate foreign investment. The negative list outlines sectors that are prohibited to international investors. Where an industry is not listed, foreign investors are entitled to the same rights as Chinese investors.

It was suggested that the service sector in particular, which has huge growth potential, might be futher opened to foreign investment. This would primarily impact the finance, education, culture and medical treatment sectors.

The plan also outlines the need to create a 'moderately well-off society', which includes maintaining economic growth, doubling GDP per capita (from 2010 to 2020), increasing the contribution of consumption to economic growth and ensuring a healthy labour market.

The Party's next five-year plan will shape the country's economic and social policy between 2016 and 2020. Full details of which will be revealed in March 2016.

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