Keeping pace with China is keeping pace with opportunities

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Recently, top executives from a number of big-name multinational corporations have come to China to open new stores, launch new products, and hold inaugural exhibitions, garnering widespread attention. 

Foreign companies are optimistic about the development opportunities in the Chinese market and are increasing their investment in China, which highlights China’s significant advantages and vast potential in attracting foreign investment.

Since the beginning of this year, factors for a stronger Chinese economy have been accumulating. Statistics recently released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics showed that in the first two months of this year, the total value added of industrial enterprises above the designated size grew by 7 percent year-on-year; the total retail sales of consumer goods increased by 5.5 percent year- on-year; the investment in the manufacturing sector went up by 9.4 percent from a year ago; the total import and export of goods saw a year-on-year uplift of 8.7 percent. 

China’s economy has not only achieved reasonable quantitative growth but has also effectively improved in quality. It has a solid foundation for stability and vast room for progress. 

At the China Development Forum 2024, managing director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva noted that in the medium-term, China will continue to be a key contributor to global economic growth.

A series of policies introduced by China, which are aimed at stabilizing the economy, promoting opening-up, and attracting foreign investment, continue to take effect, creating more favorable conditions for attracting foreign investment. 

Statistics recently released by China’s Ministry of Commerce showed that in the first two months of this year, 7,160 new foreign-invested enterprises were established nationwide, an increase of 34.9 percent year-on-year; the actual use of foreign direct investment in the Chinese mainland reached 215.09 billion yuan ($30.29 billion), of which 28.27 billion yuan was used in the high-tech manufacturing sector , up 10.1 percent from a year ago. 

Top executives of international organizations and multinational companies believe that China will continue to be an economy that provides enormous opportunities for cooperation. 

China is at a crucial stage of shifting from traditional drivers of growth to new ones and a key period of promoting high-quality development, containing tremendous development opportunities. 

In China, Volkswagen has established its largest overseas R&D center; Schneider Electric has set up an AI innovation lab; Tesla has launched an energy storage super factory project. Many multinational companies believe that keeping pace with China means keeping pace with opportunities, and investing in China means investing in the future.

China sincerely welcomes enterprises from all countries to invest in China and continues to foster a market-oriented, world-class business environment governed by a sound legal framework. 

Last year, China released 24 new guidelines to stabilize foreign investment and issued a set of measures on a trial basis in five pilot free trade zones and the Hainan Free Trade Port to deepen reforms in key areas by aligning with high-standard international economic and trade rules.

This year’s Chinese government work report proposed abolishing all market access restrictions on foreign investment in manufacturing, and reducing market access restrictions in services sectors such as telecommunications and healthcare.

The country issued an action plan to steadily promote high-level opening up and make greater efforts to attract and utilize foreign investment, which proposes measures across different aspects, including expanding market access, facilitating the flow of innovation factors, as well as better aligning domestic rules with high-standard international economic and trade rules.

Besides, China has also rolled out national and pilot free trade zone versions of negative lists for cross-border trade in services to boost opening up.

As macro-policies continue to be implemented, China will further release its development dividends to the international market. The person in charge of Siemens Healthineers said that China’s friendly attitude in creating a world-class business environment has boosted the confidence of foreign-invested enterprises in their further development in China.

Currently, with the slowing global economic growth and weak demand, the scale of global cross-border direct investment is facing significant downward pressure. Against such a background, it is remarkable that China has maintained overall stability in attracting foreign investment in recent years. 

A few Western media outlets have hyped “challenges China faces in attracting foreign investment” and the so-called “risks” of investing in China, which is completely misleading with ulterior motives. 

Foreign investment is a market behavior that values long-term returns, and fluctuations in data are normal phenomena that conform to market laws. In the past five years, the rate of return on foreign direct investment in China has been around 9 percent, which is relatively high internationally. In 2023, China’s share of global foreign investment was about 15 percent, ranking first among developing countries and in the forefront globally. 

The fundamentals sustaining China’s long-term economic growth remain unchanged, and China’s comprehensive advantages in attracting investment, such as its enormous market size, complete supply chain, well-developed infrastructure, and abundant human resources, still remain outstanding. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that China’s rich talent resources and strong innovation vitality make it an important market and a key supply chain partner for Apple. Apple will continue to focus on its long-term development in China and increase investment in its Chinese supply chain, research and development, and sales, the CEO added.

Looking ahead, China will continue to link itself with the world through higher levels of openness. A more open China will undoubtedly bring more opportunities for win-win cooperation to the world and will continue to be a force for stability in promoting global growth.



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