China to tackle major issues faced by foreign firms, in unswerving opening-up drive
Published: Oct 18, 2022 01:46 AM
Lujiazui, a financial zone in Shanghai Photo: VCG

Lujiazui, a financial zone in Shanghai Photo: VCG

China will focus on tackling major issues faced by foreign businesses, as part of the country's unswerving effort to expand all-around opening-up, a Chinese official said on Monday, responding to questions about the nation's business environment amid a growing smear campaign by some anti-China forces in the West.

China has repeatedly reaffirmed its commitment to further opening up its vast domestic market for foreign businesses despite growing unilateralism and protectionism pursued by some Western countries, particularly the US. 

A report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Sunday stressed promoting high-standard opening-up, stating that China will steadily expand institutional opening-up with regard to rules, regulations, management and standards.

China will unswervingly expand all-around opening-up and push economic globalization toward being more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all, Zhao Chenxin, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), told a press conference on Monday on the sidelines of the ongoing 20th CPC National Congress.

Some foreign media outlets have been smearing China's business environment, while criticizing various Chinese policies, including the country's new development pattern and its measures against the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Photo:Li Hao/GT

Photo:Li Hao/GT

At the press conference on Monday, Zhao was asked by a foreign reporter about travel restrictions for foreign business executives and how they impact foreign businesses' enthusiasm for the Chinese market.  

Since the beginning of 2022, despite a repeated and sporadic global pandemic, a complex and grim international landscape and weak transnational investment, China has overcome multiple difficulties in attracting foreign investment and achieved growth while maintaining stability and improving the quality of investment, Zhao said. 

China will strive to solve the major problems facing foreign-invested enterprises and comprehensively strengthen promotion and services for foreign investment, he said. 

"We will work with relevant parties to advance opening-up at a high level, intensify policies to attract foreign investment, and make better use of the positive role of foreign investment in promoting high-quality development and unimpeded dual circulation," Zhao said.

There has been a misunderstanding about the new pattern of development that is focused on the domestic economy and features positive interplay between domestic and international economic flows, Zhao said, adding that it is wrong to think that by focusing on the domestic economy, China will scale back its opening-up efforts or even turn to a "self-sufficient economy."

Economic globalization has become an irreversible trend, he said, adding that China is already deeply integrated into the global economy and the international system, and the industries of China and many other countries are highly interconnected and interdependent. 

"Fostering a new pattern of development is important for China to achieve development that is of higher quality and is more efficient, fair, sustainable and secure," he said.

China will continue to improve its business climate, implement systems such as negative list management, and work with relevant departments and local governments to provide more convenience for international exchanges and cooperation while keeping COVID-19 under control, according to the NDRC official.

The NDRC will make a greater effort to encourage foreign investment, such as the release of the 2022 edition of the Catalogue of Encouraged Industries for Foreign Investment, which will further expand the scope of encouraged foreign investment in advanced manufacturing, modern services, high technology, energy conservation, environmental protection and other fields.

The new version of the catalogue will support foreign investment in central, western and northeastern China and will add items involving components, parts and equipment manufacturing, according to an explanation on the revision of the 2022 version by the NDRC in May.

China is more and more open in terms of economic development, hoping to share the dividends of its development with global enterprises, especially high-tech ones, and promote the further growth of the global economy, Tian Yun, a Beijing-based economist, told the Global Times on Monday.

"Foreign companies can use China as a base to provide high-quality products to the world, especially after the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. China's industrial advantages will be further highlighted," said Tian.

Despite the complex and volatile external environment, "this year, China has improved the structure of foreign investment utilization and the quality of foreign direct investment," Chen Jia, an independent research fellow on international strategy, told the Global Times.

From January to August, China's utilized foreign capital stood at 892.74 billion yuan ($124.2 billion), an increase of 16.4 percent year-on-year, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed.