Claim of US, EU firms shifting investment away from China not true: MOFCOM
Published: Sep 14, 2023 05:56 PM
Commerce Ministry

Commerce Ministry

The claim that "US and EU firms are shifting investment away from China to other developing markets" is not true, said China's Commerce Ministry (MOFCOM) on Thursday, citing convincing data. 

The foreign direct investment (FDI) from the US and the EU surged to 86 billion yuan ($11.82 billion) in 2022 from 74.4 billion yuan in 2018, with a 15.6 percent growth, He Yadong, a MOFCOM spokesperson said on Thursday. 

He added that the FDI from countries including the US, Germany, France, the UK and Sweden had kept growing in the first seven months this year, indicating that the Chinese market remains attractive to foreign investors. 

A number of senior business representatives from multinational corporations have visited China this year as they all stated that the Chinese market is not an optional choice, but a must, adding that the companies will continuously ramp up their investment in China.  

He made the remarks in response to a Reuters report on Wednesday, which said that "US and European firms are shifting investment away from China to other developing markets," citing a report from Rhodium Group. 

The report noted that investment into from the US and the EU to China dropped to less than $20 billion last year, from a peak of $120 billion in 2018.

Global investors are clear that China's advantages lie in the manufacturing sector, with a complete infrastructure and rich industrial chain, Hu Qimu, a deputy secretary-general of the digital-real economies integration Forum 50, told the Global Times on Thursday,adding that it is impossible for foreign investment to significantly shift away from China, even if for hedging against risks. 

Hu noted that some foreign investment in China may enter through channels like offshore tax havens, which may not be directly counted in some official statistics. 

The spokesperson noted that China has been rolling out dedicated policy and measures to attract foreign investment. For instance, the State Council, China's cabinet, recently issued a document targeting to further optimize the business environment for foreign investors which issued 24 measures tackling common concerns from foreign enterprises.

He added that MOFCOM will continue to narrow the country's negative lists reasonably while optimizing the foreign investment environment, government services and ensuring national treatment for foreign enterprises. 

"China will unswervingly push forward high-level opening-up and will continue to be a hot spot for foreign investment and business," He said. 

At a major fair for investment and trade which was held in Xiamen, East China's Fujian Province earlier in September, many global businesses, including those from the US and the UK, expressed confidence in the Chinese market thanks to the long-term growth of the Chinese economy and Chinese officials' intensifying efforts to improve the business environment.