China will remain a highly favored investment destination for global companies this year, given its latest policy measures to boost market confidence and efforts to reinforce its position in global industrial, innovation and capital chains, experts and business executives said on Wednesday.
Despite a slowdown in the growth pace of utilizing foreign direct investment during the first four months of 2023, compared with the first quarter, experts believe that China's efforts to introduce consumption stimulus packages, launch the yearlong "Invest in China" campaign, and create more access to modern service industries will continue to attract FDI amid rising external uncertainties.
China's actual use of FDI grew by 2.2 percent year-on-year to 499.46 billion yuan ($71.4 billion) in the first four months of 2023, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed.
The country saw FDI increase 4.9 percent year-on-year to 408.45 billion yuan in the first quarter of this year.
To ease the pressure caused by factors ranging from geoeconomic fragmentation to a gloomy global economic outlook, China has accelerated the pace of further releasing its market potential and smoothed channels for coordination and communication between the government and foreign companies, said Zhang Fei, deputy director of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation's Institute of Foreign Investment.
For instance, the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner, announced last month that it has been considering shortening the list that outlines sectors that are off-limits to foreign investors.
To attract more global capital, over 20 promotional events will take place throughout this year. These will help foreign investors learn more about China's investment policies, business environment and emerging market opportunities, Shu Jueting, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Commerce, said recently.
Multinational corporations have been capitalizing on market opportunities and accelerating their investment efforts in China. Specifically, they have shown considerable interest in high-end consumption and manufacturing, healthcare and green sectors, said Sang Baichuan, dean of the Institute of International Economy at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.
Among the major sources of FDI, the influx from France jumped 567.3 percent year-on-year during the January-April period, while that from the United Kingdom surged 323.7 percent, that of Japan rose 68.1 percent, and FDI from South Korea increased 30.7 percent, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Chen Yudong, president for China at Robert Bosch GmbH, a German industrial and technology group, said China has enormous potential in the areas of intelligent electrified mobility, smart manufacturing and carbon neutrality, offering many business opportunities to global companies.
Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, said China will continue to play an important role, given the size of the Chinese economy and its level of integration with the global economy.