Foreign-funded companies laud full opening-up in manufacturing

2023-10-26 10:08:08China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Employees work on the smart production line of a foreign-funded electronics enterprise in Rongcheng, Shandong province. (LI XINJUN/FOR CHINA DAILY)

Executives of foreign businesses have reaffirmed their resolve to ramp up investment in China, following the country's decision to remove all restrictions on foreign investment in the manufacturing sector.

The new policy measure is consistent with China's efforts to bolster economic growth and create a favorable environment for multinational corporations, they said.

Ding Hongyu, senior vice-president of 3M Co and president of 3M China, said the company welcomes China's continuous efforts toward opening-up. The US-based industrial conglomerate has already benefited from the country's steadily improved business environment, he said.

"We are committed to our business in China and will continue local investment and strengthen local supply chain," said Ding, noting that 3M will increase investment at its plant in Jinshan district, Shanghai, to further expand the structure adhesive capacity later this year.

As emphasis in China has shifted from high-speed growth to high-quality development, fields like automotive electrification, home improvement and consumer electronics present significant investment opportunities for 3M, he said.

Sharing similar views, James Han, president for China unit of Wartsila Corp, a Finnish life cycle and power solutions provider for marine and energy markets, said China's decision to implement high-standard opening-up in the manufacturing sector is encouraging. It shows China's determination to further deepen its market reform and opening-up, so as to create a level playing field for both domestic and foreign companies.

Han said, "China's manufacturing sector, particularly in the marine segment that we serve, will continue to move up the value chain to let the country become not only the biggest but the strongest shipbuilding country in the world, with focus on innovation-driven growth and green technology."

Given the increased benefits and flexibility available to foreign companies seeking to enter or expand in the Chinese market, Wartsila plans to produce more dual-fuel and methanol-powered marine engines and add new production lines in China, he said.

Apart from delivering products to its clients at refineries, ethylene and methanol plants, and fertilizer factories throughout China, Leser GmbH &Co KG, a German safety valve manufacturer, will expand its market share in the nation's food and pharmaceutical industries to seek new growth points soon, said Tim Jiang, the company's general manager for China.

Rather than solely focusing on attracting foreign investment in new factories, China's continuous industrial upgrade and commitment to environmental sustainability will enhance the country's competitive advantage, said Cui Fan, a professor of economics at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.

"This will, in turn, create a favorable environment for foreign businesses to invest across diverse sectors like digitalization, high-tech manufacturing and innovation."

Latest data from the Ministry of Commerce showed this is already happening in China. Foreign direct investment used in the manufacturing sector in the first three quarters of this year amounted to 262.41 billion yuan ($35.92 billion), up 2.4 percent year-on-year, with FDI in high-tech manufacturing up nearly 13 percent.

To strengthen business ties with China, the Singapore Business Federation announced earlier this week that it will lead a 500-strong business delegation, representing 56 Singaporean companies, to participate in the sixth China International Import Expo in Shanghai in early November. This will be the largest Singaporean delegation since 2020.

Kok Ping Soon, CEO of the SBF, said Singapore businesses are buoyed by the upgraded bilateral relationship and are looking forward to more significant trade and investment opportunities. "The CIIE remains an essential platform for Singapore businesses to grow their business in the Chinese market, particularly in high-growth areas like digital innovation and sustainability."

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