BEIJING, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- The economy must open wider to the outside world to fuel growth, President Xi Jinping told a group tasked with steering reform on Tuesday.
"China should be committed to attracting foreign investment and expertise, and improve opening-up policies," he said, addressing the 16th Meeting of the Central Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform.
Promoting opening up while pushing forward reforms will add new impetus and vitality, and provide new room for economic growth, Xi said.
The leading group adopted a series of guidelines including a negative list regulating market access, relaxation of border-control policies, encouraging state-owned enterprises (SOE) to absorb private capital and overhauling the resident registration system.
According to the statement, a negative list, identifying sectors and businesses that are off-limits for investment, will be drawn up. The system will be gradually tested and improved through trial programs.
The move is significant as it will give the market a bigger role in allocating resources, ensuring a law-based business environment and making the market more open, the statement said.
The government will also loosen controls on the powers it delegates to companies, making sure that companies decide how to run their businesses.
The statement also said China will allow border areas to explore new models of cross-border economic cooperation and new mechanisms for promoting regional growth.
In a bid to open up state-controlled sectors, more areas will be open to private investment.
"The government will not change its policy toward foreign investment, and will protect the lawful interests of foreign-funded companies and provide better services for them," said the statement.
In addition, it will be made easier for foreigners to apply for permanent residence permits, or "green card," by optimizing requirements and streamlining the application process.
Guaranteeing lawyers' right to practice and nurturing professional judges and prosecutors were also discussed at a meeting.
The meeting was also attended by Premier Li Keqiang, and senior leaders Liu Yunshan and Zhang Gaoli, according to a statement released after the meeting.