China welcomes qualified overseas investors to Xiongan New Area and will take a series of new measures this year to attract more foreign investment, China’s top economic planner said on Tuesday.
To fully open China’s general manufacturing industry and further open its service sector, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will work with the State Council to amend the foreign investment negative list, and expand a pilot negative list from free trade zones to the whole country, Ning Jizhe, deputy director of the NDRC , told reporters at a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing annual session of the National People’s Congress, China’s national legislature.
The negative list lays out the areas of the Chinese economy which are closed to overseas investors.
The country will also facilitate investment with simplified procedures and equal competition environment, he noted.
Moreover, China will encourage foreign investment coming to its inner regions with preferential policies on capital and land use, according to Ning.
China’s new development plans have already attracted overseas attention.
China and the UK are in talks about working on a financial and technology city project in Xiongan New Area, which is designed to receive some of Beijing’s non-capital functions, He Lifeng, director of the NDRC said at the press conference.
China welcomes joint projects that meet the development needs of Xiongan, He said.
China attracted 131 billion US dollars in foreign direct investment (FDI) last year, ranking the second in the world, Ning said, noting that it is a remarkable achievement.
In the past four decades of China’s reform and opening-up, foreign investment has been an important part of the Chinese economy, accounting for almost half of the country’s imports and exports and 25 percent of its industrial output, Ning said.
Foreign enterprises in China contributed to about 20 percent of the tax income and more than 10 percent of the jobs in the country, he noted.
Meanwhile, China’s rapid economic growth has brought opportunities for foreign companies, Ning said.
Ning attributed China’s achievement in attracting overseas investment to its efforts in opening up and improving the investment environment.
In 2017, China released two key documents to encourage foreign investment, including more than 40 specific measures to expand opening up and create equal market.
In addition, China also amended the foreign investment catalog in 2015 and 2017, lifting more than half of the restrictions on foreign investment.