Market analysts and business executives stated on Friday that global corporations are resolute in their belief that increasing investment in China is a wise strategy, owing to the country’s appealing consumption power, ongoing industrial upgrades, and higher-level opening-up, which significantly boost confidence. The Ministry of Commerce reported that foreign direct investment (FDI) on the Chinese mainland, in terms of actual use, rose 6% YoY to ¥268.44 billion ($39.05 billion) in the first two months of this year. High-tech industries experienced a significant FDI growth of 32% from the same period last year, with FDI in high-tech manufacturing surging by nearly 69% YoY, and that in the high-tech services sector increasing by over 23% on a yearly basis. The ministry stated in an online statement that multinational corporations have been actively capitalizing on market trends and accelerating their investment layout, particularly in areas like high-end consumption, manufacturing, healthcare, and green energy development, to mitigate the pressure caused by factors ranging from waning global goods demand to geoeconomic shocks.
“We are optimistic about the Chinese economy’s prospects for this year. We expect that the impact of COVID-19 will be behind us at some point during the first quarter of this year, allowing for a rebound in the second quarter,” said Jens Eskelund, vice-president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, at a news conference in Beijing on Monday. Premier Li Qiang stated during the same conference that China will expand its opening-up this year in alignment with high-standard international trade rules and will offer a better business environment and services to the world. The government has introduced a series of policy measures to encourage global companies to establish innovation centers in the country, including strengthening support for infrastructure and operational funding, and allowing foreign-funded research and development centers to conduct fundamental research using reports and data collected by national research programs.
Eric Chung, CEO of Nippon Paint China, a subsidiary of Singapore-based Nipsea Group, announced that the company plans to construct its new headquarters and Asia-Pacific research and development center in Shanghai later this year, and build a production base in the city in the coming years. “With China’s optimized COVID-19 response, we see that the consumer market has begun to revive, social and economic vitality has been further released, and China’s economy has been showing its strong resilience and great potential,” he said. According to data from the Ministry of Commerce, investment from economies participating in the Belt and Road Initiative and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations rose 11% and 11.8% YoY, respectively, during the January-February period, as China continues to promote multilateral trade initiatives and press ahead with industrial innovation.