Investment & Trade

Nation vows to further deepen opening-up

Updated: Jun 27, 2024 By Wang Keju China Daily Print
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An aerial view of Canton Tower in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province. [YANG HE/FOR CHINA DAILY]

China will intensify efforts to further attract foreign investment, in order to drive the growth of the world's second-largest economy in the new development paradigm, according to an executive meeting of the State Council, the country's Cabinet, on Wednesday.

The meeting, which was chaired by Premier Li Qiang, decided that the country will take steps to deepen opening-up efforts in key sectors, focusing on removing market access restrictions on foreign investment in the manufacturing sector and introducing a new round of pilot measures to expand opening of the service sector.

Domestic and foreign companies will be treated on an equal footing when participating in various sectors, including in large-scale equipment upgrades and government procurement. Efforts will also be made to improve the facilitation of investment and optimize foreign investment policies in areas such as pharmaceuticals and medical devices, according to the meeting.

Additionally, it was noted at the meeting that China will release a revised version of the industry catalog that encourages foreign investment and makes it easier for foreign nationals to work in China.

Foreign direct investment in actual use on the Chinese mainland totaled 412.51 billion yuan ($56.8 billion) in the first five months of the year, which was 28.2 percent lower than the figure for the same period last year, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed. Despite the decline, 21,764 new foreign-invested enterprises were established, up 17.4 percent year-on-year, according to the ministry.

Meanwhile, foreign companies saw a 16.7 percent increase in profits in the first four months of the year, well above the national average of 4.3 percent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The scale of foreign investment in actual use is still at a historically high level, even though there has been a decrease in the amount, which is primarily due to the impact of last year's high base, said an official with the Commerce Ministry.

Notably, in the first five months of the year, the manufacturing sector attracted 117.11 billion yuan, accounting for 28.4 percent of the total inflow of foreign direct investment. This represents an increase of 2.8 percentage points compared with the same period last year and points to ongoing improvement in China's investment structure.

Foreign businesses operating in China continue to exhibit stable investment expectations and confidence in the country's market. Recent surveys conducted by various business chambers found that more than three-fourths of United States, European and Japanese companies planned to sustain their operations in China, the official added.

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