China draws 43.8% more foreign investment in Q1
Published: Apr 15, 2021 07:43 PM
Tourists admire the skyline view of Lujiazui area at the Bund in Shanghai, east China, Jan. 6, 2020. (Xinhua/Wang Xiang)

Tourists admire the skyline view of Lujiazui area at the Bund in Shanghai, east China, Jan. 6, 2020. (Xinhua/Wang Xiang)

After surpassing the US as the world's biggest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2020, China continues to see rapid growth in foreign investment this year, as confidence in the country' growth prospect and opening-up further improves. 

In the first three months of the year, China drew 10,263 new foreign-invested businesses, up 47.8 percent year-on-year and 6.7 percent from the pre-pandemic level in 2019, according to the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) on Thursday.

In terms of amount, China attracted a total investment of $44.86 billion, increasing 43.8 percent year-on-year, the MOFCOM said. That does not include investments in the financial sector. 

Foreign investment in the services sector rose by 51.5 percent year-on-year, while investment in the high-tech sector grew by 32.1 percent. 

The robust growth in foreign investment highlighted the confidence of global businesses in the resilience and strong potential of China's market, especially when much of the world economy is still mired in the COVID-19 pandemic, Tian Yun, vice director of the Beijing Economic Operation Association, told the Global Times.

"China was first to emerge from the pandemic, and it has benefited from the fast recovery in manufacturing and domestic demand," Tian said. "Backed by GDP growth and strong performances in manufacturing, services and foreign trade, the Chinese market has emerged as the safest investment environment."

The fast growth in foreign investment came as China has become a top destination for foreign investment, despite rising geopolitical tensions stirred by the US.

In 2020, China surpassed the US as the world's largest recipient of FDI, with a total of $163 billion in inflows, despite the effects of COVID-19, while global FDI dropped 42 percent to around $859 billion. 

Opening up the domestic market to global investors will remain a priority of the Chinese government in the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25), Ning Jizhe, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said on Wednesday, adding that China will "integrate itself deeper into the world economy, offering huge growth opportunities for other nations."

In a survey released by the American Chamber of Commerce in China, China remained the top investment market for more than 60 percent of surveyed companies, which cited the country's fast economic recovery.