Action needed to attract foreign investment

More should be done to enable companies to take advantage of China's vast market, industrial and supply chains, advisers say

By WANG KEJU | China Daily | Updated: 2024-03-05 07:45
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Foreign businessmen negotiate with a Chinese vendor at the Yiwu International Trade Market in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, last month. [SHI BUFA/FOR CHINA DAILY]

With a growth rate of 5.2 percent in 2023, the world's second-largest economy not only outperformed the global estimate of approximately 3 percent growth, but it also took the lead among the world's leading economies, she said.

China, according to the International Monetary Fund, contributed more than 30 percent to global economic growth last year, solidifying its role as a main force behind the global economy.

Going forward, the country's all-out efforts to sustain stable economic growth are an essential component that will further draw international investors, contributing to the overall attractiveness of China as an investment destination, Pan added.

It's of great significance to not only attract foreign investment but also retain it, so optimizing the business environment and providing more streamlined and convenient services to businesses are crucial steps, said Quan Heng, a deputy to the 14th NPC and an economist at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

According to a poll released by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade in late January, more than 90 percent of foreign businesses consider the Chinese market to be attractive, and over 80 percent expressed satisfaction with China's business environment in 2023.

The survey conducted by the country's top foreign trade and investment promotion agency also showed that nearly 70 percent of polled enterprises are upbeat about the prospects of the Chinese market over the next five years.

That said, improving the facilitation of foreign investment and enhancing the enabling environment for innovation will remain high on the Chinese government's work agenda, said Jiang Ying, chair of market consultancy Deloitte China and also a member of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

By simplifying administrative procedures and promoting collaboration and knowledge exchange between foreign and domestic entities, China will foster a conducive ecosystem for foreign businesses to establish research and development centers in the country, and contribute to its innovation landscape, Jiang added.

Expanding market access for global investors needs to be promoted on an ongoing basis, with efforts weighed toward slashing the negative list for foreign investment and enhancing the openness of modern service industries such as education, healthcare and elderly care, Jiang added.

In late October, China took a significant step to help attract foreign investment by announcing the complete removal of restrictions on foreign investment access to the country's manufacturing sector.

Despite the diversification of multinational companies' global expansion strategies, China continues to be a crucial choice for top-tier enterprises thanks to its infrastructure development, technological advancements and industrial capabilities, as well as its super-sized market.


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