China remains attractive destination for foreign investment
Farsighted multinationals don't want to miss the opportunity to invest and operate in China.
Photo shows workers busy with production in the workshop of a Japanese-funded company in Songjiang district, east China's Shanghai, May 15, 2022. [People's Daily Online/Cai Bin]
Data from China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) indicated that China saw 185 newly-added major projects during the first four months of this year, each with foreign investment of over $100 million. This means that an average of 1.5 major foreign-funded projects had been launched in China per day during the period.
China's actual use of foreign capital expanded to 478.61 billion yuan ($71.65 billion) from January to April, up 20.5 percent year on year, which represented a double-digit growth achieved on the high comparison base during the same period of last year.
The Chinese market is the best choice as BMW pushes ahead with transformation toward electrification, digitalization, and sustainable development, said an executive with German carmaker BMW.
Although global markets have suffered impacts of multiple factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, during the past two years, BMW's business in China has maintained steady growth and reached a new high in sales last year, according to the executive, who disclosed that the company will continue to increase investment in China.
For BMW, China is not only the world's largest auto market and new-energy vehicle market, but the most important manufacturing base and innovation base in the world, the executive added.
China has continuously opened its door wider to share its development opportunities with the rest of the world.
A large container ship is loaded with containers at the container terminal of the Lianyungang Port of Lianyungang city, east China's Jiangsu province, May 22, 2022. [People's Daily Online/Wang Jianmin]
Besides BMW, many other foreign enterprises, including Amazon, Dell, and Johnson & Johnson, also expressed their intention to continue increasing investment in China.
Recent survey reports released by the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham China) and the German Chamber of Commerce in China showed that 83 percent of the surveyed U.S. companies and 96 percent of the German companies in China remain bullish on the Chinese market, and that 66 percent of the U.S. companies and 71 percent of the German companies in China plan to invest more in the country.
Over the past five years, China has continuously shortened its negative lists for foreign investment, cutting the numbers of off-limit items on its national negative list and pilot free trade zone (FTZ) negative list to 31 and 27, respectively.
The country has taken a large number of important and major measures to further boost opening-up in sectors including finance and automobile, and basically opened its manufacturing sector and guaranteed steady and continuous progress in the opening-up of the agricultural and service sectors, effectively stabilizing foreign enterprises' expectations of development in China and providing broader space for foreign investment.
Production technicians of a German-funded company in the high-tech industrial development zone of Taicang city, east China's Jiangsu province, adjust stamping equipment developed for automobile manufacturing, household appliances and industrial electrical equipment, May 12, 2022. [People's Daily Online/Ji Haixin]
So far, 21 pilot FTZs have been established across China. Its comprehensive bonded zones and economic and technological development zones are speeding up efforts to promote reform and innovation. In addition, various platforms launched to facilitate opening up continuously roll out measures to advance investment liberalization and facilitation, becoming a new high ground for attracting foreign investment.
This year, China will continue giving full play to the role of its special working group for key foreign-funded projects so as to provide service guarantee for stable operations of enterprises and make sure relevant projects are signed, put into operation, and reach full-capacity production as early as possible, according to the MOFCOM.
Besides, the country will revise and expand the catalogue of encouraged industries for foreign investment to guide more foreign investment toward sectors such as advanced manufacturing, modern services, high and new technology, green and low-carbon development and digital economy and toward the central and western regions by leveraging favorable policies related to taxation and land, said the ministry.
China will also intensify efforts to protect the legitimate interests and rights of foreign investors and ensure national treatment for all foreign-invested enterprises, the MOFCOM stressed.
On April 10, the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and China's State Council jointly issued guidelines on accelerating the building of a national unified market, saying explicitly that the country will uphold a unified fair competition system and treat all market entities, regardless of their type, as equals.
China's stable economic and social environment, sound industrial chain and supply chain system, and super-large market provide a solid foundation for the stable development of foreign enterprises.
"It is very difficult to match the scale and scope of China's supply chains outside China at the moment," pointed out Vishrut Rana, Singapore-based economist at S&P Global Ratings, in a recent interview.
The 2022 American Business in China White Paper recently released by the AmCham China said that 83 percent of the AmCham China's member companies disclosed that they are not considering relocating manufacturing or sourcing outside of China.
China remains a priority market for U.S. companies, with many of them believing it is vital to stay competitive in this market in order to win globally, according to the white paper.
China will continue to optimize its business environment to help more foreign-invested companies enter, stay and prosper in the Chinese market, and retain its attractiveness to foreign investment.