China welcomes Tim Cook's visit, willing to provide more opportunities for foreign companies
Published: Oct 20, 2023 10:00 PM
Tim Cook visit Apple store in Chengdu, Southwest China's Suchuan Province, on October 17, 2023 Photo: VCG

Tim Cook visit Apple store in Chengdu, Southwest China's Suchuan Province, on October 17, 2023 Photo: VCG

Senior Chinese leaders and officials welcomed Apple CEO Tim Cook's visit to China, emphasizing that the country is willing to provide more opportunities for foreign companies, a clear signal of China's determination to attract foreign capital.

Tim Cook, who is on his second visit to China this year, is one of the latest batch of foreign company heads coming to the country recently, showing that China is the first choice for "rational capital" as they navigate the global market, Chinese experts said, adding that China's opening-up is a resolute move aimed at unleashing growth potential and sharing business opportunities with countries and enterprises worldwide.

When meeting with Cook on Thursday, Chinese Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang said China's door will only open wider and wider, adding that the country is willing to provide more opportunities and create better environments for foreign enterprises, including Apple.

Cook said that the company is sticking to globalization, and is confident in the prospects of the Chinese market. It is willing to strengthen cooperation with China in high-end manufacturing, digital economy and other fields, he added.

On Thursday, Jin Zhuanglong, head of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, also met with Cook, and said he hoped that Apple company will continue to take root and invest in China and further improve the cooperation level with the country to see win-win results when participating in China's new industrialization process.

Also on Thursday, Ren Hongbin, chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, met with Cook, exchanging views on Apple's development in China, strengthening practical cooperation between China and the US, and the China International Supply Chain Expo, which will be unveiled at the end of November.

Cook's visit to China also came at a time when multinational companies' heads and delegations are flocking to China, including Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng meeting with Stephen Schwarzman, chairman of the Blackstone Group, in Beijing on Thursday, and Shanghai Party Secretary Chen Jining meeting with Sassine Ghazi, president of Synopsys, and his delegation on Thursday.

Those visiting executives all expressed their long-term determination to invest in China, with Ghazi saying that their company will actively rely on the local innovation talent team to serve the global market.

Cook's second trip in the year to China highlights that Apple still values the Chinese market, and it also sent a signal that China is still the most attractive single market although there is some industrial transfer to other regions, Li Yong, a senior research fellow at the China Association of International Trade, told the Global Times on Friday.

Tim Cook may represent a portion of the world's "rational capital," as rational entrepreneurs with a global vision often choose the market with the most potential, the most stability and the most predictability, Li said. 

"China is the first choice among global market in terms of such pre-conditions," Li added. 

Data from the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) released on Friday showed that the actual use of foreign capital in the manufacturing industry was 262.41 billion yuan ($35.86 billion) in the first nine months of this year, an increase of 2.4 percent, of which the actual use of foreign capital in the high-tech manufacturing industry increased by 12.8 percent. 

Meanwhile, 37,814 new foreign-invested enterprises were established nationwide, a year-on-year increase of 32.4 percent. 

Investment from France, the UK and Canada are the top three in terms of investment growth, MOFCOM said. 

On Friday, L'Oréal said in its fiscal report ending on September 30 that sales revenues in the Chinese mainland in the third quarter maintained a sound growth of 7.7 percent , and all the categories' growth are dynamic.

To better attract foreign investment, MOFCOM said it will further reduce the negative list for market access, and further promote the reform and opening-up of free trade pilot zones and ports.

"Foreign capital has confidence in China's market and economic prospects, and we are also confident in foreign capital coming to China," MOFCOM said. 

China has taken steps to remove all restrictions on foreign investment access in the manufacturing sector, highlighting its commitment to a more open and inviting business environment, which Chinese experts said shows China's efforts to push for a high-level opening-up, and the confidence in the opening-up of manufacturing.

Shanghai is about to hold the sixth China International Import Expo from November 5 to November 10. A sign of China's unwavering dedication to promoting high-level opening-up, the fair is expected to bring a boost to the global economy, experts said.