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Foreign companies up investment in China's manufacturing sector

China Daily | Updated: 2023-12-04 09:23

A view of an automated production line at a Volkswagen factory in Hefei, Anhui province, in May. DU XIAOYI/XINHUA

HEFEI — Volkswagen (Anhui) Components Co Ltd, Volkswagen Group's first wholly owned battery system plant in China, started production on Nov 21 in Hefei, capital of East China's Anhui province.

With a total investment of over 140 million euros ($153 million), the plant has an initial annual capacity of 150,000 to 180,000 high-voltage battery systems.

The battery system produced at the plant is a crucial component for Volkswagen Anhui's modular electric drive matrix electric vehicle production, and 96 percent of the components required for battery production are supplied locally.

"With the first high-voltage battery system rolling off the production line at VWAC, Volkswagen Group China has shown its dedication to locally developing and producing top-notch backbone components for our electric vehicles," said Olaf Korzinovski, executive vice-president of Volkswagen Group China.

Volkswagen Group is among the foreign companies that are increasing investments in China's manufacturing sector as the country continues to promote high-quality development of manufacturing and high-standard opening-up.

In May, refrigeration industry giant Danfoss inaugurated its global refrigeration research and development and testing center in Tianjin.

In the same month, BMW Group's joint venture in China, BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd, began construction of a new battery production plant in Liaoning's capital Shenyang.

A total of 41,947 new foreign-invested companies were established in China during the first 10 months of the year, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed.

Specifically, the actual use of foreign investment in manufacturing rose 1.9 percent year-on-year to 283.44 billion yuan ($39.7 billion) during this period, with that in high-tech manufacturing logging an increase of 9.5 percent.

China's strong appeal to foreign-funded manufacturing projects can be attributed to several key factors, including its comprehensive industrial ecosystem, huge and open market, strong R&D and innovation vitality, and friendly business environment.

At the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in October, China said it would remove all restrictions on foreign investment access in the manufacturing sector.

Corning Inc, one of the world's leading innovators in materials science, has continued to invest in China in areas including display glass, automotive glass and emission control products since it opened its first sales office in China in 1980.

"We have witnessed the rapid development of the Chinese market and are impressed by the strong resilience and great vitality of it," said Liu Zhifei, president and general manager of Corning Greater China.

China is not only a vital market, but also an innovation engine for many foreign enterprises.

According to a recent survey conducted by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, for three consecutive quarters, the surveyed foreign enterprises identified "technological innovation and R&D" as the greatest development opportunity in the Chinese market.

"Volkswagen has been growing hand in hand with China for 40 years. In no other country is the speed of transformation and innovation in the automotive sector as high as here," Korzinovski said.

"We have deepened the communication with foreign companies through roundtable meetings and other ways this year and most of those companies are positive about China's development prospects and willing to maintain long-term development in China," said MOC Spokesperson He Yadong at a news conference last month.

"We welcome more multinational companies to join the Chinese market and share the dividends of China's development," He added.


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