China remains attractive destination for foreign investment

Luo Shanshan,
Wang Junling

Farsighted multinationals don’t want to miss the opportunity to invest and operate in China.

Data from China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) indicated that China saw 185 newly-added major projects during the first four months of this year, each with foreign investment of over $100 million. This means that an average of 1.5 major foreign-funded projects had been launched in China per day during the period.

China’s actual use of foreign capital expanded to 478.61 billion yuan ($71.65 billion) from January to April, up 20.5 percent year on year, which represented a double-digit growth achieved on the high comparison base during the same period of last year.

The Chinese market is the best choice as BMW pushes ahead with transformation toward electrification, digitalization, and sustainable development, said an executive with German carmaker BMW.

Although global markets have suffered impacts of multiple factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, during the past two years, BMW’s business in China has maintained steady growth and reached a new high in sales last year, according to the executive, who disclosed that the company will continue to increase investment in China.

For BMW, China is not only the world’s largest auto market and new-energy vehicle market, but the most important manufacturing base and innovation base in the world, the executive added.

China has continuously opened its door wider to share its development opportunities with the rest of the world.

Besides BMW, many other foreign enterprises, including Amazon, Dell, and Johnson & Johnson, also expressed their intention to continue increasing investment in China.

Recent survey reports released by the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham China) and the German Chamber of Commerce in China showed that 83 percent of the surveyed U.S. companies and 96 percent of the German companies in China remain bullish on the Chinese market, and that 66 percent of the U.S. companies and 71 percent of the German companies in China plan to invest more in the country.

Over the past five years, China has continuously shortened its negative lists for foreign investment, cutting the numbers of off-limit items on its national negative list and pilot free trade zone (FTZ) negative list to 31 and 27, respectively.

The country has taken a large number of important and major measures to further boost opening-up in sectors including finance and automobile, and basically opened its manufacturing sector and guaranteed steady and continuous progress in the opening-up of the agricultural and service sectors, effectively stabilizing foreign enterprises’ expectations of development in China and providing broader space for foreign investment.

So far, 21 pilot FTZs have been established across China. Its comprehensive bonded zones and economic and technological development zones are speeding up efforts to promote reform and innovation. In addition, various platforms launched to facilitate opening up continuously roll out measures to advance investment liberalization and facilitation, becoming a new high ground for attracting foreign investment.

This year, China will continue giving full play to the role of its special working group for key foreign-funded projects so as to provide service guarantee for stable operations of enterprises and make sure relevant projects are signed, put into operation, and reach full-capacity production as early as possible, according to the MOFCOM.