China’s FDI up 4.9% in Q1, with focus on high-tech: MOFCOM
Published: Apr 20, 2023 10:32 PM
FDI Photo: CFP

FDI Photo: CFP

China's foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first quarter of 2023 reached 408.45 billion yuan ($59.40 billion), up 4.9 percent year-on-year, demonstrating the nation's high-level opening-up and attractiveness to foreign investment, China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Thursday.

FDI in the high-tech industry surged 18 percent to 156.71 billion yuan, MOFCOM spokesperson Shu Jueting told a press conference on Thursday.

"China's FDI growth reflects the country's deepening integration with global industry chains, especially in high-tech fields, and signs of the 'decoupling' called for by the US are getting weak," Tian Yun, a veteran economist based in Beijing, told the Global Times on Thursday.

First-quarter FDI from France surged by 635.5 percent, and there was a 60.8 percent increase from Germany. There were top-level state visits from these countries to China in recent weeks.

Investment from the UK increased by 680.3 percent year-on-year, Canada increased by 179.7 percent year-on-year and Japan increased by 47.4 percent year-on-year.

Since the beginning of 2023, China has held series of international events including the China Development Forum, the Boao Forum for Asia and the China International Consumer Products Expo. Shu said that the MOFCOM launched a special campaign to attract foreign investment at the beginning of the year.

"Through a series of international business events, top managers from many international enterprises have reviewed the Chinese business environment and looked for new opportunities. They vowed to further explore the Chinese market, based on its potential," said Shu. 

According to data revealed at the press conference, the number of new foreign investment-backed enterprises in China surpassed 10,000 in the first quarter, up 25.5 percent year-on-year. 

So far this year, more than 300 contracts have been signed for foreign investment-backed programs in China covering biomedicine, advanced manufacturing, chemical engineering and energy, and modern services. 

"China has sufficient capital, and a lack of capital is not the reason that many Chinese companies want foreign investment," said Tian. 

Rather, the high level of FDI reflects the trend of importing advanced technologies, management experience and new industries. 

The IMF in March predicted that China may contribute about one-third of global economic growth this year, and China's 2023 GDP growth is estimated to reach 5.2 percent. 

Tian noted that the outlook for China's growth in 2023 plays an important role for foreign investors in making decisions. 

"For example, US interest rates are increasing and there are inflation risks. But China's GDP grew 4.5 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, so it's obvious to global investors which market is safer," said Tian. 

Chinese Premier Li Qiang said in a keynote speech at the Boao Forum on March 30 that China will continue to roll out new measures to increase market access and improve the business climate for both state-owned and private Chinese firms and foreign businesses. 

"I believe that a China that is stable and dedicated to development, a China that is down-to-earth and pressing ahead with fortitude, and a China that is confident, open and sharing will surely be a strong force for global prosperity and stability," said Li.