Steps to boost foreign direct investment
Stability, steady growth, improving trade quality will be priorities for China in 2022
China will expand items in the industry catalog that encourages foreign investment, and further beef up preferential land and tax policies, to guide the flow of more foreign capital into fields such as advanced manufacturing, modern services, high technology and digital economy, as well as to central and western regions of the nation, officials said on Tuesday.
The nation is also very confident about the stable operation of foreign trade, although facing uncertainties in both demand and supply, they said at a news briefing in Beijing.
Chen Chunjiang, director of the Commerce Ministry's department of foreign investment administration, said the nation will stabilize growth of foreign direct investment while improving the structure of FDI inflows in 2022, despite the increased complexity of external and domestic conditions.
Those uncertainties and challenges include intensified global competition to attract FDI, the COVID-19 pandemic's disruption of cross-border investment activity, and increased costs of labor, land and raw materials in China, he said.
Commerce data showed that China's actual use of FDI rose 14.9 percent year-on-year to hit a record 1.1 trillion yuan ($173.7 billion) last year. Newly established foreign-funded enterprises in 2021 numbered 48,000, surging 23.5 percent year-on-year.
To attract FDI, the nation will strengthen efforts to expand high-level opening-up, improve supportive policy measures and offer better services for foreign investors.
"We will implement the 2021 national and (pilot free trade zone) negative lists for foreign investment, and make sure opening-up measures in automobile manufacturing will be carried out and take effect, to help attract more investment from multinational companies," Chen said.
The ministry will also reinforce efforts to meet key foreign investment projects' need for land, energy, environmental protection and cross-border personnel flow, to ensure the projects will be signed and completed and then operate at full production capacity as soon as possible, he added.
Good performance of China's use of FDI and foreign trade is not only important for the growth of the Chinese economy, but also for world economic recovery, analysts said.
Wang Tuo, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement, which was signed in 2020 and took effect on Jan 1, will facilitate the growth of China's foreign trade and FDI inflows.
Li Xingqian, director of the ministry's department of foreign trade, said that stability and steady growth will be the priority for China's foreign trade in 2022, and the nation will pay more attention to the improvement of trade quality, compared with expansion of trade quantity.
The nation will help enterprises tap into new markets while consolidating their presence in traditional markets, as well as promote new foreign trade forms such as cross-border e-commerce and overseas warehouses.
For example, Guangxi Liugong Machinery Co, a machinery manufacturer based in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, aims to increase its overseas sales by 58 percent year-on-year in 2022.
Supplying sectors including forestry, mining and road construction, the company posted 64 percent year-on-year growth in overseas sales last year－40 percent higher than the global average level.