Further opening-up, cooperation aim to increase FDI, achieve growth targets
Visitors are seen at the 22nd China International Fair for Investment and Trade held in Xiamen, Fujian province, on Sept 8. (WEI PEIQUAN/XINHUA)
China is expected to make the country increasingly more attractive by ramping up efforts to stabilize the expectations of foreign investors, according to government officials and experts.
Experts also said policy measures at both central and local levels have attached great importance to key foreign investment projects, which will facilitate the early implementation of those projects.
At the opening ceremony of the 22nd China International Fair for Investment and Trade, which ran from Sep 8 through Sep 11 in Xiamen, Fujian province, Guo Tingting, assistant minister of commerce, said no matter what happens in the international community, China will firmly welcome the rest of the world in a broader scope, in more fields and at a deeper level to make substantial achievements in opening-up.
The nation will step up efforts in attracting foreign investments and optimize the service system for foreign investors so that they will become more interested in developing in China, she said.
Nie Pingxiang, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation (CAITEC), predicted this year's FDI inflow to China will increase from last year while more FDI is expected to flow into high-end sectors and the western and middle regions in the nation.
"China is increasingly attractive to foreign investors due to the nation's huge market potential and its deepening opening-up and reform that is creating a better business environment for foreign enterprises," Nie said.
Facing headwinds in achieving its annual economic growth target, China has rolled out a myriad of policy measures to stabilize growth, including those aiming to promote foreign investment.
The State Council officially unveiled a package of 33 measures in May. Some of the measures are proposed to accelerate the delivery of key foreign investment projects and attract foreign investment more proactively.
The revision of the industry catalog for sectors that encourage foreign investment will also be sped up to guide foreign capital into fields such as high-end manufacturing and scientific innovation in areas such as the middle, western and northeastern regions.
The nation will also support foreign investors to establish research and development centers in high-end and emerging technologies, apart from expanding enterprises' cross-border financing channels, enhancing Chinese authorities' communications with foreign chambers and enterprises, and facilitating foreign businesses more proactively.
Nie with CAITEC spoke highly of the government's efforts in promoting foreign investment through revising specific policy measures to create more opportunities, such as the industry catalog for sectors that encourage investment and those regulating strategic investment by foreign investors in A-share listed companies.
The government policies also focus on guiding foreign investment into key fields like advanced manufacturing, high-end technology, energy conservation and modern services, as well as speeding up the establishment of opening-up platforms, such as the expansion of pilot areas for comprehensive opening-up in the services sector, and improving working mechanisms at both central and local government levels for major foreign investment projects, Nie said.
"Implementation of key foreign investment projects remains a priority in both central and local government policy measures to stabilize FDI inflow," she said, adding that means financial and other types of support will be in a good position for such projects.
Shu Jueting, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Commerce, also said at a recent news conference in Beijing that key foreign investment projects in China are making good progress amid the country's efforts to stabilize cooperation and FDI inflow.
Around 60 percent of the projects that have started production are in full operation, while over 30 percent of the projects under construction have started production, she said, adding the actual foreign investment of large projects, with contracted foreign investment of more than $100 million each, totaled $66.85 billion in the first seven months.
That was 35 percent higher year-on-year and accounted for 53.9 percent of the nation's foreign investment in actual use in the same period, she said.
The ministry and relevant authorities have established mechanisms to improve services for foreign investors and promote the early implementation of major foreign investment projects, Shu said.