Speedy work made on new catalogue encouraging foreign investment: vice minister
Published: Sep 09, 2020 01:01 AM

File photo:VCG

China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) is set to roll out the latest revised catalogue of industries that encourage foreign investment, Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen said at the China International Fair for Investment & Trade on Tuesday. 

Analysts said the minister's remarks further attest to China's commitment to attract foreign investors and share the pie of growth amid trade tensions with the US and a changing world after the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the new catalogue the number of listed sectors where foreign investment is encouraged would see a marked rise, Wang said, adding that eligible foreign companies will enjoy favorable tax policies.

"We hope foreign investors can put their hearts at ease when it comes to doing business in China, and achieving long-term, stable development," the minister said.

China's National Development and Reform Commission and the MOFCOM published on July 31 a draft proposal seeking public input on a revised catalog of industries that encourage foreign investment.

Compared with the 2019 version, the new catalogue has 56 newly-added items and 40 modified items, while the catalogue of advantageous industries in central, western and northeastern regions has introduced 69 new items.

Most of the newly-added or revised items in the nationwide catalogue encourage foreign companies to invest in high-end manufacturing and producer services industries.

Countries around the world are vying to attract companies to move production of vital industries such as high-end manufacturing and pharmaceutical within their borders, after the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the vulnerabilities of the global supply chain and amid trade frictions between China and the US - the world's two largest economies.

He Manqing, director of MNC Research Center with Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said the minister's remarks shows China's commitment to opening its market and share the pie of the world's largest consumer market with foreign investors who are interested in growing with the Chinese market.

"Investment is a two-way street, and China has displayed its willingness in welcoming foreign investors," He said, noting that sectors in which China is facing a bottle-neck in climbing the technology ladder will be particularly encouraged.

"Even for companies that possess high-end technology, an investment deal in the Chinese mainland will greatly help them to more precisely feel the pulse of the market and roll out products that better cater to local demand," He said.

Also on Tuesday, Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, reportedly said at a forum at the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing that the Chinese market is still expected to grow extensively in the coming years and decades.

China is beefing up its push to open further to foreign investment, implementing its foreign investment law, adopting a shorter negative list on foreign investment and improving its business environment.

"We always value the Chinese market as the Chinese data industry grows really fast and the Chinese market has been one of our fastest growing regional markets for several consecutive years," Wilson Ho, vice president of US-based analytics firm SAS, told the Global Times.

In the post-virus era, SAS regards the Chinese market as extremely resilient and full of opportunities, Ho said. 

The performance of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland in the January-July period was better than expected, reversing a losing streak in the first half and bucking a global trend of FDI slide, with a 0.5-percent year-on-year increase to 535.65 billion yuan ($78.24 billion).

During the first seven months this year, 18,838 new foreign-funded enterprises were established in China.

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