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Nation advances policy mix in efforts to attract FDI

By WANG KEJU| China Daily| Updated: February 29, 2024 L M S


A clerk counts yuan bank notes and US dollar bills at a branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in Huaibei, East China's Anhui province. [Photo/IC]

China will continue working toward the swift implementation and effectiveness of the policy package aimed at enhancing the investment climate for foreign businesses and attracting more foreign investment, the Ministry of Commerce said on Wednesday.

The policy mix, rolled out in August by the State Council, China's Cabinet, after pooling feedback and concerns facing foreign companies in terms of the country's business environment, has witnessed significant progress in the delivery of most of the initiatives, the ministry said in a statement.

Throughout last year, the country saw a significant increase in the number of newly established foreign-invested enterprises. Data released by the ministry showed that 53,766 companies were set up nationwide in 2023, representing a year-on-year growth of 39.7 percent.

Going forward, the ministry will work closely with related departments and localities to solicit feedback and recommendations from foreign companies, conduct comprehensive assessment of policy execution and enhance their sense of gain, the ministry added.

Representatives from nine foreign business associations in China, including the American Chamber of Commerce in China, the National Committee on United States-China Relations, and the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China attended the meeting, as well as more than 60 representatives from foreign companies operating in China.

The attendees expressed appreciation for the Chinese government's efforts to foster a more enabling business environment, stating that many measures have directly benefited enterprises and yielded positive results. These initiatives have been widely welcomed by foreign businesses, further anchoring their expectations and bolstering their confidence in investing in China.

The resounding sentiment among foreign businesses echoes with the latest data. According to a poll released by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade in late January, more than 90 percent of foreign businesses consider the Chinese market to be attractive, and over 80 percent expressed satisfaction with China's business environment in 2023.

The survey conducted by the country's top foreign trade and investment promotion agency also showed that nearly 70 percent of polled enterprises are upbeat on the Chinese market's prospects over the next five years.

Days prior to the ministry's statement, a State Council Executive Meeting initiated research on policy measures aimed at enhancing the country's ability to further attract and leverage foreign investment.

Noting that China will put the stability and growth of foreign investment high on its economic agenda this year, Friday's meeting emphasized the need to channel more efforts toward expanding market access, fostering a fair competitive climate, and facilitating innovative factors.

Meanwhile, more forceful measures will be employed to forge a world-class, market-oriented business environment governed by a sound legal framework, in order to bolster the confidence of foreign investors in expanding their presence in China and improve the overall quality of the investment and trade environment, the meeting said.

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