Nation favored magnet for foreign investors

2024-03-14 09:46:13China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China will remain a favored destination for global investors, as the country has entered a new era of green and innovation-led growth, senior executives at multinational industrial conglomerates said, refuting claims of an outflow in foreign capital.

They said foreign capital inflows are expected to further stabilize and recover in 2024, as China's high-tech and green-related industries have emerged as key magnets for foreign investment.

The government's initiatives to further open up sectors such as manufacturing, financial services, healthcare and education to foreign businesses, are also contributing to this trend.

That sentiment is in line with the latest data.

Foreign direct investment in China's manufacturing sector soared by 20.5 percent year-on-year to 33.11 billion yuan ($4.62 billion) in January, while high-tech industries attracted 39.16 billion yuan in FDI, representing 34.7 percent of the total FDI utilized in China, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed.

Anna An, president for China unit at Henkel AG &Co, a German industrial and consumer goods manufacturer, said that foreign businesses are bullish about ramping up investment in the Chinese market, as the country further opens its economy and improves its business environment. The company anticipates additional government measures to further boost consumption within the country.

"China's pursuit of green development has created ample opportunities for multinational companies like Henkel," she said, stressing that in the long run, the company is committed to providing adhesive solutions that assist Chinese automakers in reducing the weight of their vehicles and enhancing the performance and longevity of batteries for electric vehicles.

In addition to investing 900 million yuan to build an adhesive plant in Yantai, Shandong province, last year to meet the growing demands of a diverse range of industries from electronics and automotive to aerospace, the German company established a research and development center for its consumer business in Shanghai in January.

According to this year's Government Work Report, China will strive to modernize its industrial system and develop new quality productive forces at a faster pace.

Sally Loh, president for China unit at Otis Worldwide Corp, a United States-based high-tech elevator manufacturer, said the company will continue to invest in future technologies in the country with a focus on safety and sustainability to serve domestic and international markets.

"China's emphasis on high-quality growth will continue to create opportunities for collaboration when designing and constructing smart and sustainable buildings," Loh said.

The company will accelerate digital transformation to meet the evolving needs of connected passengers, intelligent buildings and smart cities across the country.

Eager to enhance its earnings strength in the country, Otis established a research and development center in Tianjin in October, which serves as its innovation base in northern China.

China's substantial market demand and growth prospects in new energy, digital transformation, intelligent manufacturing and e-commerce, combined with its comprehensive industrial support and integration advantages, have motivated a growing number of multinational corporations to increase investment and accelerate research and development efforts in the country, said Zhao Ping, dean of the academy at the Beijing-based China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

Pointing out that new quality productive forces consist of innovative digital and green forces, Yin Zheng, executive vice-president for China and East Asia operations at French industrial and technology group Schneider Electric SE, said China's promotion of new quality productive forces will create greater development potential for the country in 2024 and beyond.

Highlighting the importance of innovation in cultivating new quality productive forces, Yin said Schneider Electric will strengthen its "China Hub" strategy this year in all aspects, including talent, innovation, supply chains and ecosystem development.

Apart from being Schneider Electric's most crucial supply chain across the world, China has emerged as the French group's second-largest market globally, boasting 29 factories and distribution centers.

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