China News Service, February 24 (Reporter Li Jinlei) China is increasing its efforts to attract foreign investment.

The State Council executive meeting held on February 23

will study policy measures to attract and utilize more foreign investment


  The meeting pointed out that

stabilizing foreign investment should be an important focus of this year's economic work

, strengthen service guarantees in terms of expanding market access, optimizing a fair competition environment, and smoothing the flow of innovative factors, and continue to create a market-oriented, legal and international A first-class business environment will consolidate the confidence of foreign investors in developing China and improve the quality and level of trade and investment cooperation.

  RMB and U.S. dollar infographic.

Photo by Song Chenglin

Increase investment to stabilize foreign investment

  At present, the global economic growth is slowing down and geopolitical risks are rising significantly, which affects foreign direct investment. At the same time, competition among countries for attracting investment is becoming increasingly fierce. The complexity, severity, and uncertainty of the external environment are increasing, which poses certain challenges to China in attracting foreign investment.

  Data from the Ministry of Commerce show that in 2023, 53,766 new foreign-invested enterprises were established across the country, a year-on-year increase of 39.7%; the actual amount of foreign capital used was 1.13391 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 8.0%, and the scale is still at a historical high.

In January 2024, the actual amount of foreign capital used was 112.71 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 11.7% and a month-on-month increase of 20.4%.

  Foreign investment is an important force that promotes the common prosperity and development of China's economy and the world economy.

Therefore, it is of great significance to further increase efforts to attract foreign investment.

  Since the New Year, ministries and commissions to local governments have taken frequent actions to attract foreign investment with greater efforts.

  "Strive to promote cross-border investment facilitation and better expand institutional openness." Meng Wei, director of the Department of Law and Regulation of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at the State Council's regular policy briefing on February 5 that foreign-invested enterprises are concerned about market access and industry Cooperation and other issues, we will promote the introduction of action plans to attract and utilize foreign investment with greater efforts, continue to rationally reduce the negative list for foreign investment access, comprehensively cancel restrictions on foreign investment access in the manufacturing sector, promote international industrial investment cooperation, and continue to improve China’s access to global factors resource attractiveness.

  The 2024 National Foreign Investment Work Conference and Special Class Meeting on Key Foreign Investment Projects held on February 22-23 emphasized the need to consolidate the basics of foreign trade and foreign investment, focus on the goal of “stabilizing quantity and improving quality”, and fully implement the regulations on further optimizing the foreign investment environment. We will increase efforts to attract foreign investment, build the "Invest in China" brand, strengthen service guarantees for foreign-invested enterprises and projects, continue to optimize the foreign investment environment, and promote the construction of open platforms and regional open development.

  The State Council issued the "Opinions on Further Optimizing the Foreign Investment Environment and Increasing Attraction of Foreign Investment" in 2023. The relevant person in charge of the Ministry of Commerce recently stated that the next step will be to listen to the opinions and demands of foreign-invested enterprises, continue to promote the implementation of policies and measures to be effective, and accelerate the introduction and implementation Supporting measures such as cross-border data flow and facilitation of foreign personnel coming to China will promote the equal treatment of domestic and foreign-funded enterprises in government procurement, bidding and standard setting, comprehensively guarantee the national treatment of foreign-funded enterprises, and ensure that foreign-invested enterprises are willing to come and stay. Live and develop well.

  It is reported that in 2024, the Ministry of Commerce will continue to play the role of the foreign-funded enterprise roundtable system and hold a monthly roundtable meeting for foreign-funded enterprises to fully listen to the opinions and suggestions of enterprises.

  From a local perspective, many provinces have launched a combination of measures to attract foreign investment.

  Zhejiang is preparing to attract foreign investment projects with "extraordinary efforts" this year, focusing on attracting a number of high-quality and iconic projects, especially major foreign investment projects, and striving to achieve an actual use of more than US$20 billion in foreign investment.

  Fujian has launched a "double-speed" mode in attracting foreign investment.

On February 19, the main construction of the Sino-Saudi Gule Ethylene Project, a cooperation between Fujian Province and Saudi Arabia, started in Zhangzhou.

The project is located in the Gulei Petrochemical Base in Fujian, with a total investment of approximately RMB 44.8 billion and is expected to be completed in 2026.

  On February 19, the comprehensive start-up event for the main body of the Sino-Saudi Gulei Ethylene Project was held at the Gulei Petrochemical Base in Zhangzhou, Fujian.

Photo by China News Service reporter Zhang Jinchuan

  Fujian also recently issued the "Several Measures for Fujian Province to Further Optimize the Foreign Investment Environment and Increase the Attraction of Foreign Investment", proposing 25 specific policies and measures to further boost the confidence of foreign-invested enterprises in developing in Fujian, and to make greater efforts and more effectively attract and attract foreign investment. Take advantage of foreign investment.

  Shandong requires "focused efforts and targeted attacks" to attract foreign investment, focusing on attracting investment in areas such as the digital economy, advanced manufacturing, and energy transformation.

Anhui recently issued a document clarifying that it will provide financial incentives to newly established foreign-funded emerging industry projects, R&D centers, and regional headquarters to support the reinvestment of profits by domestic foreign-funded enterprises.

Continue to be optimistic about China

  Although the actual amount of foreign capital used in China has fluctuated since 2023, the number of newly established foreign-invested enterprises has still increased significantly.

  Data from the Ministry of Commerce show that in January 2024, 4,588 new foreign-invested enterprises were established across the country, a year-on-year increase of 74.4%. The growth rate is rarely seen in recent years.

  The person in charge of the Foreign Investment Department of the Ministry of Commerce said that this shows that foreign investment is enthusiastic about coming to China. Multinational companies are still optimistic about the development opportunities of the Chinese market and continue to increase their investment in China.

  In the past year, many multinational company executives have flocked to China, setting off a "tide to visit China", and foreign companies gathered at the China International Import Expo and Chain Expo.

They generally stated that the Chinese market is not an "option" but a "must have".

  McDonald's China told Sino-Singapore Finance that China is now McDonald's second largest market in the world.

McDonald's China has nearly 6,000 restaurants and more than 200,000 employees.

McDonald's China has set a goal of opening 10,000 restaurants by 2028.

  "China's growing consumer demand brings us opportunities. China is McDonald's fastest-growing market in the world, and its long-term development potential will continue to benefit us." In November last year, McDonald's announced an increase in its stake in McDonald's China. The proportion increased from 20% to 48%, showing confidence in the Chinese market.

  Starbucks China has set a goal of opening 9,000 stores in 2025 and will continue to invest in China. In the future, China will become Starbucks' largest market in the world.

  Swire Coca-Cola (Suzhou) Beverage Co., Ltd., with a total project investment of 2 billion yuan, started construction last year.

It is estimated that in the next ten years, Swire Coca-Cola's total investment in mainland China will exceed 12 billion yuan.


  The "Research Report on China's Foreign Investment Business Environment for the Fourth Quarter of 2023" recently released by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade shows that more than 90% of the foreign-funded enterprises surveyed rated China's business environment as satisfactory or above, and more than 90% of the foreign-invested enterprises surveyed believed that the Chinese market Attractive, about 93% of the foreign-funded enterprises surveyed expect profits from investments in China to remain the same or increase in the next five years, a month-on-month increase of 5.8 percentage points.

  A recent survey report released by the American Chamber of Commerce in China shows that half of U.S. companies rank China as their first or top three investment destinations in the world, an increase of 5 percentage points compared with 2022.

  Many multinational companies have proven with practical actions that they are still optimistic about China.