Remarkable progress achieved one year after China’s implementation of foreign investment law

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Photo taken on Sept. 20, 2020 shows a view of the Qingdao Area of China (Shandong) Pilot Free Trade Zone. The Qingdao Area is fully implementing the pre-access national treatment for foreign investors and negative list mechanism to attract foreign investment. (Photo by Han Jiajun/People’s Daily Online)
Photo taken on Sept. 20, 2020 shows a view of the Qingdao Area of China (Shandong) Pilot Free Trade Zone. The Qingdao Area is fully implementing the pre-access national treatment for foreign investors and negative list mechanism to attract foreign investment. (Photo by Han Jiajun/People’s Daily Online)

By Zhang Tianpei, Qu Song

China has achieved remarkable results after it enacted the foreign investment law, which offered easier market access for foreign capital, better facilitated investment, improved service system, brought more effective protection of rights and interests, and made market competition fairer, a spokesperson said recently.

The foreign investment law was implemented more than a year ago on Jan. 1, 2020.

It has created a more market-oriented, legalized, and international investment environment for foreign investors and enterprises, and served as a guarantee for an increase of 4.5 percent of foreign direct investment (FDI) to China last year, said Zang Tiewei, a spokesperson for the Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee.

Both China’s attraction of foreign investment and its global share hit a record high in 2020, making the country the world’s largest destination for foreign capital, Zang noted, adding that a total of 51,000 foreign enterprises were established in China last year, which drew a satisfying end of China’s 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020).

Heads of foreign enterprises told People’s Daily that the implementation of the foreign investment law further reinforced their confidence to keep investing in China.

China’s policy to enhance opening up, embrace advanced management philosophy, and ensure sound business environment have created huge opportunities for multinational corporations, and boosted the confidence of foreign enterprises to keep investing in China, said Willie Tan, CEO of Skechers China, South Korea and Southeast Asia.

Skechers bucked the trend in the Chinese market last year against virus influence, the CEO introduced, adding that the company is continuing expanding its investment in China, and an Asia-Pacific R&D center has been established in Dongguan, south China’s Guangdong province.

Besides, a $1 billion logistics center established by the company in Taicang, east China’s Jiangsu Province is expected to be put into service this year, and its second-phase project will be commenced in the third quarter, Tan said. According to him, the company will keep expanding its market in third- to fifth-tier cities, while developing in top-tier cities.

Commercial vehicle maker Scania was one of the first automakers approved by China to establish wholly foreign-owned plants in the country. The Swedish firm spent a fairly long time on studying how to invest in China.

The Chinese government is launching a series of measures to advance economic reform and expand opening up, and these measures are continuously improving the country’s economic resilience and production rate, said Mats Harborn, President of Scania China Group.

Optimistic about the future of the Chinese economy, Harborn noted that China will still be a locomotive driving global growth. He predicted that the country will become Scania’s largest market in the next decade.

Swiss multinational corporation ABB last year completed its acquisition of a majority stake in Chargedot Shanghai New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. At present, a $150 million robotic plant of the group is under construction in Shanghai, which, upon completion, will become the group’s most advanced smart factory in the world.

The year 2021 marks the starting year of China’s 14th Five-Year Plan, from which the country has entered a new development phase, said Lars Eckerlein, general manager of ABB China. China’s expanding opening up, as well as its high attention on new technologies, has made the company more confident about the country’s economic prospects, he added.

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