Chinese regulators vowed to accelerate the opening up of its capital markets and deepen reforms to attract more foreign investors.

The regulator will expand the scope of investments allowed in the stock connect program link with Hong Kong, and allow foreign investors to trade more commodities futures products, China Securities Regulatory Commission Vice Chairman Fang Xinghai said at the China International Financial Annual Forum 2020 on Sunday in Beijing.

Officials are planning to announce revised rules on qualified foreign institutional investors as soon as possible to increase their “willingness and confidence” to invest in China, he said. Foreigners currently hold only 4.7 per cent of Chinese stocks in circulation, way below the more than 30 per cent in markets like Japan and South Korea, he said.

“There remains a huge potential” to usher in foreign capital, Fang said.

China is also opening its financial markets this year to allow Wall Street giants such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to take full ownership of ventures in the country, counting on them to provide fresh investments and foster a more competitive local industry.

The move comes against a backdrop of rising tension with the US over issues including trade and the crackdown on Hong Kong. Weighed down by the virus outbreak, China’s economy is poised for its slowest expansion this year in four decades. The participation of foreign investors has helped make the Chinese stock market “more rational” and valuations “more reasonable,” Fang said.