China will release the sixth list of major foreign investment projects and further expand the 2022 industry catalog of sectors encouraging foreign investment as part of its latest efforts to advance high-level opening-up, a senior government official said on Monday.
Zhao Chenxin, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a news conference that the nation will offer policy support at the central government level to foreign investment projects on the upcoming list, in terms of industrial planning, land use, environmental protection assessment and energy consumption. The first such list was released in 2018.
The industry catalog will be updated to increase support for foreign investment in such fields as advanced manufacturing and modern services, as well as in China's central, western and northeastern regions, Zhao said.
More policy measures to spur foreign investment quality and quantity will be released, with a focus on the manufacturing sector, he said.
The moves are part of China's broader efforts to further unleash the potential of foreign investment while upholding true multilateralism and expanding high-level opening-up, analysts said.
A report delivered at the opening session of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on Sunday said the nation will promote high-standard opening-up.
China will leverage the strength of its enormous domestic market to attract global resources and production factors, and enhance the interplay between domestic and international markets and resources, according to the report.
"Despite the rising protectionism and anti-globalization sentiment in the world, China is determined to expand high-level opening-up with concrete actions," said Liu Ying, a researcher at Renmin University of China's Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies.
"That will facilitate global cross-border business activity to further consolidate China's role as a safe bet for foreign investment and, more importantly, a stabilizer and powerhouse for global economic recovery, which is suffering from COVID-19, geopolitical issues and interest-rate hikes in developed economies."
Pursuing the new dual-circulation development paradigm — which takes the domestic market as the mainstay and lets the domestic and international markets reinforce each other — doesn't mean China will scale back its opening-up or seek development behind closed doors, according to the NDRC's Zhao.
"(China) will unwaveringly expand all-around high-level opening-up and push for an economic globalization that is more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all," Zhao said.
Wei Jianguo, vice-chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said he expects China to undertake greater opening-up in the following years and roll out a flurry of win-win measures that strengthen international cooperation.
Many business leaders from multinational companies also said they feel encouraged by the firm resolve to advance high-level opening-up.
DHL Express China CEO Wu Dongming said China is committed to opening up its market to, and working with, the rest of the world for more open and free global trade.
The company is confident in the Chinese market and will continue to invest to keep its business in China growing, Wu said.