With continuously improving opening up of the market and optimized business environment, China will be increasingly attractive to foreign investors and remain a hot spot for foreign capital, reported China Securities Journal Wednesday quoting experts.
-- Remarkable results in foreign capital attraction
China has achieved remarkable results in absorbing foreign capital against the backdro of significant decline in global direct investment.
According to the latest report issued by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in the first half of 2020, the global total transnational direct investment dropped by 49 percent year on year, while that of China only fell by 4 percent.
The latest data from the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) showed that from January to October this year, the actual use of foreign capital nationwide reached 800.68 billion yuan, up 6.4 percent year on year, 1.2 percentage points higher than the figure from January to September.
The latest MOC data also showed that in October, the actual use of foreign capital nationwide stood at 81.87 billion yuan, up 18.3 percent year on year and registering a positive year-on-year growth for the seventh consecutive month.
This results from the series of supportive policies unveiled by China since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of the new foreign investment law, the building of the pilot free trade zones, and other efforts made by China, said Zhang Jianping, deputy director with the Academic Committee of the China Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation (CAITEC).
China's economy outperforms others under the dual pressure of global economic recession and COVID-19 pandemic, and the country boasts integrated advantages of complete infrastructure, abundant supply of multi-level human resources, and significant industrial agglomeration and scale effects, added Zhang.
The practice of "stabilizing foreign investment" this year again proves that the attractiveness of China's super-large market for foreign investment, China's comprehensive competitive advantages in industrial supporting facilities, human resources and infrastructure, and foreign investors' long-term investment and operation expectations and confidence in China remain unchanged, said Zong Changqing, director of the Department of Foreign Investment Administration of MOC.
Without special circumstances, China's absorption of foreign capital in the fourth quarter is expected to continue the current stable and positive trend, noted Zong.
According to the Statistical Bulletin of FDI in China 2020 released recently by MOC, during the 13th Five-Year Plan period, China has attracted a total foreign investment of about 690 billion U.S. dollars.
-- Expanding opening up
The ever-opening Chinese market boosts the country's attraction of foreign capital.
Speeding up the construction of the "dual circulation" development pattern, in which domestic and foreign markets complement and reinforce one another, with the domestic market as the mainstay, is to pursue more open domestic and international circulation and make the Chinese market the market of the world, a shared market and a market for all, said Zong.
Zong also noted that during the 14th Five-Year Plan period, China will continue to expand opening up and shorten the negative list for foreign investment. "The ever-opening Chinese market will surely provide more investment opportunities for foreign investors," Zong said.
In June this year, China issued a further-cut negative list for foreign investment, signaling the country's strong willingness to promote reform and development through opening up facing the impact of COVID-19.
Cutting the negative list for foreign investment is becoming an important way to promote the "dual circulation" development pattern, said Cui Fan, a professor of the School of International Trade and Economics with the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), adding that it is foreseeable that the negative list for foreign investment will be further compressed.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will become an important platform for China to attract foreign capital in the new era, believed Hao Hongmei, deputy director of the Institute of Foreign Investment with CAITEC.
According to the agreement, the 15 RCEP members have all adopted the negative list method and made high-level openness commitments for investment in manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, fishery, and mining.
In Hao's opinion, this means the transparency of investment policies will be further enhanced, and the market access among RCEP members will be further relaxed, with rules of origin, customs procedures, inspection and quarantine, and technical standards to be gradually unified, all is good news for two-way investment in the region.
-- Continuously optimized business environment
The continuously improved business environment in China has become an important reason for many foreign-funded enterprises to cast a "confidence vote" for China.
According to the World Bank's Doing Business 2020 report, China's rank in the ease of doing business index rose from 46th to 31st.
This leap-forward development is a concentrated manifestation of the further optimization of China's business environment, and it will surely provide countries around the world with a better environment and a broader market for investment in China, said Zhang Yingjie, director of the China Chengxin International Credit Rating Co., Ltd. Institute.
Create a fair competition market environment is inseparable with laws. This year marks the first year for the implementation of the new foreign investment law which provides protection for foreign investors to invest in China from the legal level.
China will continue to strengthen the protection of the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors to ensure that domestic and foreign-funded enterprises are treated equally, and make the business environment more market-oriented, law-based, and internationalized, noted Zong Changqing.