New foreign investment encouragement catalogue takes effect, will spur more opportunities
Published: Jan 27, 2021 08:18 PM

Aerial photo taken on Jan. 14, 2021 shows the container terminal of Qinzhou Port in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The Qinzhou Port saw its cargo throughput in 2020 reach 3.9504 million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units), growing 30.98 percent year on year. (Xinhua/Cao Yiming)

The newly released revised industry catalog that puts more sectors into the category of encouraged foreign investment took effect on Wednesday, showing that China is determined to open the door for more foreign investment to spur its economic growth.

Holding a positive view toward future growth in the huge Chinese market, which attracted the largest amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the world last year, some foreign-funded firms told the Global Times on Wednesday that they will continue to expand investment in China, sharing the opportunities arising from steady economic growth and industrial upgrading.

According to the 2020 revised industry catalog, released by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce at the end of last year, the new list has 127 more items, an increase of 10 percent in the number of sectors encouraging foreign investment compared with the 2019 version. Meanwhile, up to 88 existing items were modified to expand their coverage.

New sectors added to the national-level catalog include respirators, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) devices, online education services and 5G mobile telecommunication technologies.

Wang Yingtao, head of the Beijing subsidiary of Germany-based dental material manufacturer DMG, told the Global Times on Wednesday that "we have increased our investment in China. The business department in China has been upgraded from an office to a branch, and we have expanded our business scale."

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the group has realized the importance of the Chinese market. "The business of our Chinese company has risen to rank first in the group, compared with third place before the epidemic," said Wang.

"Such policy updates and adjustments are obviously beneficial to the development of China's related industries and improving their competitiveness in the global market. In the field of healthcare, these policies can allow companies like us to introduce the latest innovative pharmaceutical products to China earlier, allowing more Chinese patients to benefit earlier," Kerry Blanchard, CEO of Everest Medicines, a globally funded biopharmaceutical company, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

China has emerged as the second-largest pharmaceutical market in the world, with growing medical demand, regulatory reforms and expanding reimbursement driving demand for high-quality, innovative medicines.

The company recently broke ground on a large pharmaceutical infrastructure project in Jiashan, East China's Zhejiang Province. It is expected that the first phase will be completed in about three years, and it will supply innovative drugs to both the domestic and international markets.

The revision aims to give better play to the positive role of foreign investment in industry and supply chains, and further encourage foreign investment in advanced manufacturing, producer services and competitive industries in the central and western regions, said the Ministry of Commerce.

"We can see a flexible and down-to-earth attitude of policy adjustment to keep pace with the changing environment, while demonstrating the nation's resolve to open its doors wider to foreign investors," Bai Ming, deputy director of the Ministry of Commerce's International Market Research Institute, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Bai said that sectors related to information and communications technology, consumption upgrading and healthcare are likely to embrace more foreign players to spur more industrial vitality.

China's FDI jumped 6.2 percent year-on-year to reach 999.98 billion yuan ($144.37 billion) last year, the highest since 1983, the Ministry of Commerce said last week.

China surpasses US as the largest recipient of FDI in 2020. Graphic: Yu Tianjiao/GT