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China to step up efforts to attract foreign inv't in 2023

By:Belt and Road Portal   Update:2022-12-29
China will step up efforts to attract foreign investment in 2023, according to the annual Central Economic Work Conference (CEWC) held earlier this month.
Concrete measures like widening market access, promoting the opening-up of modern service industries, and granting foreign-funded enterprises national treatment will be taken to attract foreign capital.
With policy incentives, foreign investment in China is expected to maintain growth in 2023.
-- Attracting foreign investment
China will intensify efforts to attract foreign investment in 2023, according to the annual Central Economic Work Conference (CEWC) held from December 15 to 16.
By further attracting foreign investment, China aims to better leverage the unique role of foreign capital in the synergy of domestic and international markets and resources, according to Zhang Wei, vice president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce (MOC).
For one thing, utilizing foreign capital has always been an important part of China's high-level opening up, said Zhao Ping, vice president of the Academy of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT).
Further using foreign capital will be conducive to advancing the high-quality development of China's economy, better meeting the needs of consumption upgrading, and ensuring the safe and stable operation of industrial and supply chains, Long Guoqiang, deputy director of the Development Research Center of the State Council, said at the 2022-2023 Annual Economic Conference of China.
For another, when investors need to look for good investment opportunities globally in face of sluggish world economy, whose growth rate is likely to stand at 3.2 percent in 2022 and drop to 2.7 percent in 2023 according to a projection by the International Monetary Fund, the Chinese market with a recovering economy will bring more and better opportunities to global investors, according to Zhao.
The Chinese market has proven its appeal to foreign investors. Data from the MOC showed that foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland, in actual use, expanded 9.9 percent year on year to nearly 1.16 trillion yuan in the first 11 months of 2022. In U.S. dollar terms, the inflow went up 12.2 percent year on year to 178.08 billion dollars. The FDI inflow of high-tech industries jumped by 31.1 percent year on year.
-- Taking multiple measures
China has put forward specific measures to stabilize foreign investment, including expanding market access, ensuring national treatment for foreign-funded enterprises, promoting accession to high-standard economic and trade agreements such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement, and boosting the implementation of foreign-funded landmark projects.
Regarding foreign-funded enterprises' concerns about their role in domestic and international economic cycles and China's innovation-driven development strategy, which will have implications on their long-term confidence in China, prescriptions that fall into the four major categories of expanding market access, optimizing business environment, improving services, and focusing on key areas have been written out by the CEWC, according to an official in charge of the Office of the Central Commission for Financial and Economic Affairs.
In terms of market access, China will further open up its modern service sector by shortening the negative list for foreign investment access, MOC spokesperson Shu Jueting told a regular press conference held on December 23.
Zhao Ping predicted such sectors as telecommunications, internet, education, culture and healthcare would be further opened up to global investors, and China's service trade is expected develop at a faster pace.
In business environment improvement, China will provide a more market-oriented, law-based and internationalized business environment for foreign companies, and remain a promising investment destination for businesses from Germany, Australia and the rest of the world, foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on December 16.
Meanwhile, the MOC will focus on the salient problems reflected by foreign-funded enterprises, and work with relevant departments to issue policies and measures for ensuring the equitable participation of foreign-funded enterprises in government procurement, bidding and standard formulation, according to the MOC spokesperson.
As for service guarantee, China will provide greater convenience for foreign investors to engage in trade and investment in China and press forward the implementation of foreign-funded landmark projects.
With respect to key areas, China will increase efforts to attract investment from key countries and in the manufacturing sector. It will also promote the high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
These measures not only clarify the current priorities of foreign investment attraction, but also help further enhance the confidence of foreign-funded enterprises in the long-term development in China, Zhang Wei said.
-- Maintaining growth in 2023
China's foreign investment is expected to grow with higher quality in 2023, as the economy is recovering, coupled with deepened reform and opening up as well as favourable policy supports, according to Zhang Wei.
He added that in 2023, high-tech manufacturing, high-tech-savvy services are likely to remain the major areas of foreign investment.
Multinational companies and global investors continue to have strong interest and confidence in the Chinese market, as evidenced by a survey conducted by the CCPIT.
Over 99 percent of the surveyed 160-plus foreign firms, commerce chambers, and associations are confident in China's economic outlook in 2023, and 98.7 percent said they would maintain and expand their investment in China, the survey revealed.
The surveyed foreign enterprises said that China's economy is resilient and has strong comprehensive competitive advantages in market potential, industrial systems, infrastructure, and business environment, according to CCPIT spokesperson Yang Fan.
Yasaki (China) Investment Corporation has strong confidence in China's economic prospects, said Murata Hideaki, board chairman of the company. The auto parts supplier is eyeing the robust development of China's new energy automobile industry and is ready to make new investments, he said. 

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