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Foreign investors to get increased support

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: February 22, 2023 L M S

China is expected to launch more measures to enhance the confidence of foreign investors, especially in high-end and manufacturing industries, according to experts and business leaders.

Those measures will expand high-level opening-up, improve the business environment and increase policy certainty and consistency in order to facilitate the development of foreign investors in the world's second-largest economy, they said.

Latest data from the Ministry of Commerce showed on Monday that the actual use of foreign capital on the Chinese mainland reached 127.69 billion yuan ($18.61 billion) in January, up 14.5 percent from a year earlier.

The nation's manufacturing and high-tech sectors proved to be highly attractive to foreign investors, with actual use of foreign capital increasing respectively by 40.4 percent and 62.8 percent year-on-year.

"Against rising protectionism and some countries' efforts to exclude China from global industrial and supply chains, China is expected to boost the confidence of foreign investors through concrete measures to sustain existing investments and attract new investments," said Zhang Yansheng, chief researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

China has vowed to establish a market-oriented and law-based business environment that meets international standards, he said, adding that the country is expected to continuously improve its business climate with more high-standard opening-up measures, as well as predictable and consistent policies.

In a recent inspection tour related to foreign investment in Qingdao and Yantai in Shandong province, Commerce Minister Wang Wentao said that China always welcomes foreign investors to expand their investment in China and participate in the establishment of the new dual-circulation development pattern. The new dual-circulation development pattern takes the domestic market as mainstay while letting the domestic and foreign markets reinforce each other.

Through that, foreign investors will join hands with China to safeguard the stability and resilience of global industrial and supply chains while achieving greater development, he said.

As many international institutions have recently raised their forecasts for China's economic growth this year, Zhou Mi, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said that foreign investors want to play a greater role in the nation's industrial and supply chains, in order to seize sustainable growth opportunities in the Chinese market and share China's development dividends.

"China will likely strengthen development coordination among different regions to foster a more enabling and unified domestic market for foreign companies to expand their businesses, enjoy better intellectual property protection, and build up innovation and development momentum," he said.

"China is also expected to strengthen supplies of production factors for industrial upgrading and reduce the impact of external uncertainties on business operations in China," he added.

Experts and government officials also said that high-quality foreign direct investment in China will enhance the interplay between domestic and external economic circulation, accelerating the establishment of dual-circulation development and benefiting the Chinese and global economies.

"Thanks to its enormous domestic market and openness to international markets, China has formed many advantages for economic growth, such as its strong capacity for innovation and its resilience," said Zhao Peng, an official of the Office of the Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs.

"The country has the world's largest and most comprehensive manufacturing system, a strong supply capacity to meet diversified international and domestic demand, an industrial ecosystem featuring a strong capacity for innovation and a relatively stable macroeconomic performance," he said, adding that this creates a good industrial and market environment for foreign investment in China.

Foreign enterprises are also eager to tap the potential of China's market and its resilient industrial and supply chains.

For example, US-based Agilent Technologies Inc, which is engaged in life sciences, diagnostics and applied chemicals, invested $20 million in the recent expansion of several production lines for high-end analytical instruments in China.

"We feel especially encouraged that China will continue to expand high-standard opening-up, including in the fields of high-tech, energy conservation and environmental protection, in which the company has deep roots," said Yang Ting, vice-president of Agilent and general manager of Greater China Sales.