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            China boosts efforts for foreign investment

            Updated: 2023-08-28 07:04
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            Visitors check out the exhibition area of AstraZeneca during the 2022 China International Import Expo in Shanghai on Nov 5. TANG YANJUN/CHINA NEWS SERVICE

            BEIJING — In a recent development, China has intensified its policy support aimed at attracting foreign investment and catering to the needs of international firms.

            These robust efforts send clear and resounding signals of the country's commitment to further opening up, thereby solidifying its position as one of the world's most appealing consumer and manufacturing markets.

            Targeted support

            The country's State Council on Aug 13 unveiled guidelines containing 24 specific measures to further optimize China's foreign investment environment and beef up foreign investment inflow.

            These measures include expanding pilot areas to open wider in terms of services, encouraging foreign firms and their R&D centers to undertake major sci-tech projects, facilitating the travel of senior executives, technicians and their families, and enhancing the expertise of personnel in local government offices handling foreign investment.

            Foreign firms are encouraged to participate in setting standards in a law-based and fair manner and develop globally leading products in China, according to the guidelines.

            "These measures address specific concerns of foreign firms and highlight the focus of China's further reform and opening-up," said Nie Pingxiang, a researcher with the Ministry of Commerce's think tank.

            The guidelines are in line with the country's constant pursuit of a more market-oriented, law-based and internationalized business environment. Earlier this year, China rolled out policies to boost foreign trade, widen institutional opening-up in free trade areas and free trade ports, and encourage foreign firms to set up R&D centers in China.

            The MOC will work with relevant departments to shorten the country's negative list for foreign investment access. In the meantime, it will continue to ease restrictions on foreign strategic investment in listed companies in China, Chen Chunjiang, assistant minister of commerce, said at a news conference on Aug 14.

            Promising market

            Despite a sluggish global economy, China has managed to keep foreign investment relatively stable.

            In the first half, China saw a 35.7 percent year-on-year increase in the number of new foreign enterprises despite a slight dip in actual utilized foreign investment. In particular, actual utilized foreign investment flowing to the high-tech manufacturing industry expanded by 28.8 percent from a year ago.

            The MOC has set 2023 as "Invest in China Year", featuring over 20 foreign investment-related events, including the China Beijing International Fair for Trade in Services and China International Fair for Investment and Trade.

            "We are very pleased to see the State Council's latest policy to further optimize the foreign investment environment and increasing efforts to attract foreign investment, especially the clear mention of accelerating the landing and operation of foreign investment projects in the field of biopharmaceuticals," said Leon Wang, executive vice-president and international and China president of AstraZeneca.

            Upbeat on the potential of China's innovative biopharmaceutical industry, the United Kingdom-based global pharmaceutical company on Aug 14 inked a Memorandum of Understanding with the Qingdao National High-tech Industrial Development Zone located in East China's Shandong province.

            According to the MOU, AstraZeneca will further invest $250 million in its Qingdao pMDI inhalation manufacturing and supply site.

            "AstraZeneca will continue to stay true to its original intention and actively pursue development in China," Wang said.


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