Xinjiang's actual FDI nearly doubles in 2022, countering Western crackdown
Published: Jan 28, 2023 03:51 PM
The 7th China-Eurasia Expo. Photo: cnsphoto

The 7th China-Eurasia Expo in Urumqi, Northwest China's Xinjiang Region File photo: cnsphoto

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Northwest China's Xinjiang region continued to improve last year, setting a new record and proving that a certain country's long-arm jurisdiction and crackdown against the region are failing, a Chinese expert said on Saturday.

Xinjiang's actual used overseas investment rose to $459 million in 2022, local data showed, an increase of 93.92 percent from 2021. 

The continuous improvement in the figure, which was up from 2021's $237 million and 2020's $216 million, maintained upward momentum as so-called "forced labor" claims fabricated by some countries lost credibility, experts said.

The region's actual used overseas investment growth rate in 2022 was 85.9 percentage points higher than the national average, local news portal reported on Friday, citing data from the local commerce bureau.

Wang Jiang, an expert at the Institute of China's Borderland Studies at Zhejiang Normal University, told the Global Times on Saturday that the figure proves that a certain country's long-arm jurisdiction and crackdown against China's Xinjiang could not eclipse the region's rare and indispensable strengths, be it in goods or economic functions.

The steadily increasing FDI into Xinjiang comes as the dividends of security and stability, the fruits of years-long anti-terrorism efforts, continue to unfold, Wang pointed out. 

Xinjiang produces about one-fifth of the world's cotton, and it is a leading producer of upstream materials such as silicon for the new-energy sector. As countries jointly push forward the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, Xinjiang is no longer a remote inland area but the forefront of China's opening-up drive. 

Although hit by the COVID epidemic in 2022, Xinjiang still achieved some notable progress in its tourism sector and efforts in wooing overseas investors, Wang said. 

The successful hosting of the biennial 7th China-Eurasia Expo, which attracted more than 3,600 companies from 32 countries and regions, also helped, the expert said.

Data monitoring overseas investment into Xinjiang in the January-November period showed that investment originating from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region soared 213.4 percent, while investment from the British Virgin Islands increased 13.12 percent.

In 2022, China's FDI totaled $189.13 billion, up 8 percent year-on-year. 

As more overseas investors seek opportunities in China's central and western regions, FDI into these areas has increased sharply. In yuan terms, localities in Central China saw FDI go up by 21.9 percent year-on-year, and in the western region the gain was 14.1 percent. 

Xinjiang's foreign trade also expanded rapidly in 2022. The region's trade in goods reached 246.36 billion yuan ($36.32 billion), up 57 percent from 2021 and ranking No.1 among all 31 localities on the Chinese mainland. 

Exports expanded 64.4 percent year-on-year to 209.12 billion yuan and imports reached 37.24 billion yuan with a 25.3 percent annual increase.