BOAO, China:

China will sharply expand market access for foreign banks and securities and insurance companies, especially in its financial services sector, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday.The government will also work on more favorable policies for foreign investors to trade Chinese bonds, Li said in a speech at the annual Boao forum held on China’s southern island of Hainan.


“We are quickening the full opening of market access for foreign investors in banking, securities and insurance sectors,” he said.


Li’s remarks add to speculation that China may soon announce new rules that will allow foreign banks and insurance firms to increase their presence in China, as senior officials from China and the United States are due to meet in Beijing this week for the next round of trade negotiations.


China has pledged to further open its massive financial markets to foreign investors since last year amid a simmering trade war with the United States. Foreign businesses have long complained that liberalization has been too narrow and on-the-ground implementation spotty.