Published: 11:35, October 28, 2022 | Updated: 11:38, October 28, 2022
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Nation to further unleash potential of FDI
By Liu Zhihua and Zhong Nan

Skyscrapers border a lush green landscape in Shenzhen's central business district. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

China is expected to better align domestic economic agendas with concerns and interests of foreign investors, to further unleash the potential of foreign investment for driving high-quality development, according to experts on Thursday.

High-tech industry and modern services will be key areas for China to step up efforts to attract more foreign investment, they said.

Their comments came as data from the Ministry of Commerce showed on Monday that the actual use of foreign capital in China reached more than 1 trillion yuan ($140 billion) in the first nine months of the year, up 15.6 percent year-on-year.

"China will likely pay more attention to the interests of foreign enterprises in China and make better use of foreign investment to spur high-quality development," said Zhang Wei, vice-president of the ministry's Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

"Meanwhile, industries such as high-tech, modern services and environmental protection, which are prioritized in China's development strategies, will likely attract more attention from foreign investors," Zhang said, adding that it will also create more development space for foreign enterprises.

Ministry of Commerce data showed the actual use of foreign capital in the service sector rose 6.7 percent year-on-year to 741.43 billion yuan during the first nine months of the year, accounting for more than 74 percent of the overall foreign capital utilized during the period.

The growth rate in the high-tech sector was 32.3 percent. The figures for high-tech manufacturing and high-tech services were 48.6 percent and 27.9 percent, respectively.

Zhu Keli, founding director of the China Institute of New Economy, said as China continues to focus on supporting the real economy, expanding utilization of foreign investment in sectors key for innovation-driven development, for instance, high-tech manufacturing and other strategic and emerging industries, can help accelerate transformation and upgrades in traditional industries to unleash great development potential.

Additionally, stabilizing and encouraging foreign investment will contribute to China's deeper integration into global industrial and supply chains, he said.

Experts said China remains strongly attractive to foreign investors, despite the ongoing disruption of global industrial and supply chains, as well as challenges such as interest rate hikes in developed economies and the COVID-19 pandemic.

That is because China has an unparalleled investment environment for foreign investors that features the competitive combined cost of production factors, an ever-improving business climate and stable and bright economic fundamentals that promise a huge and growing market.

Thanks to its social stability, tremendous economic potential, complete industrial chain and preferential policies, China's attractiveness as a destination for foreign direct investment remained strong in the third quarter, according to a survey released by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade on Thursday.

Stronger confidence

Another report released by the CCPIT on Thursday stated that about 96.9 percent of more than 500 foreign companies surveyed said the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has boosted their confidence in the Chinese market.

Yoichi Miyazaki, chairman and CEO of Toshiba (China) Co, said the company has stronger confidence in the Chinese market and will display internet of things solutions in energy sector and carbon capture technologies at the upcoming fifth China International Import Expo in Shanghai.

Shu Jueting, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Commerce, said at a news conference on Thursday that the CIIE has become a major platform for international trade, investment, cultural exchange and cooperation, making important contributions to world economic recovery.

The fifth CIIE will see many advanced, high-tech and sophisticated products on exhibition, she said.

Sun Xiao, a spokesman for the CCPIT and secretary-general of the China Chamber of International Commerce, said that the Yangtze River Delta region and the Pearl River Delta region had remained China's main regions in attracting FDI in the third quarter of the year.

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