As a key task of China's six-plank campaign to counter downward economic pressure, the stabilization of foreign capital inflow has made pivotal progress recently.
-- Remarkable results achieved in stabilizing FDI
In April alone, foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland increased by 11.8 percent year on year to 70.36 billion yuan, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) .
In particular, the April FDI flowing into the three sectors of information services, e-commerce services and professional technical services soared 46.9 percent, 73.8 percent and 99.6 percent year on year, respectively.
Last year, China passed the landmark foreign investment law, shortened the negative list for foreign investment and amended the industry catalogue for foreign investment. This year, the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought huge challenges to the world economy, weighing negatively on China's foreign trade and investment. To cope with the challenges, China has redoubled its efforts and rolled out various measures to stabilize the overall performance of foreign trade and investment.
Those measures, with focus on promoting and protecting foreign investment, further boosted the confidence of foreign investors, which, together with a low base in the same period of last year, contributed to a positive growth in the FDI inflow in April, said Gao Feng, spokesman of the MOC.
China's local governments also have stepped up efforts to improve supportive laws and regulations on finance, innovative models and business environment in an attempt to stabilize foreign trade and investment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
-- More positive signals to be released intensively
China is set to make a big push to widen its market access, enhance regional cooperation, optimize business environment and advance opening-up to a higher level.
Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said recently at a press conference that China would continue to broaden market access, shorten the negative list and further open up the service sector as part of its efforts to keep foreign investment stable amid the pandemic.
It is learned that Chinese authorities are quickening the pace in revising the negative list on foreign investment and the catalogue of industries that encourage foreign investment.
The industries of biomedicine, public health, artificial intelligence, 5G network and industrial Internet are likely to become new key fields of China's market opening-up and hot sectors for foreign investment as huge demands and investment opportunities have emerged in these industries amid the pandemic, said Zhang Fei with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation (CAITEC).
It is also worth noting that China will unveil more favorable policies to attract foreign investment into the country's central and western regions.
Recently, the country issued a guideline on the development of western regions in the new era to promote coordinated regional development.
Peng Chaoran, an associate researcher with CAITEC, said a series of signals indicated that China would further accelerate the development of inland areas by leaps and bounds to promote coordinated development among its eastern, central and western regions.
-- Foreign-funded companies gradually regain confidence
Yuan Da, spokesperson with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said that with quick control of the epidemic and orderly resumption of work and production in China, the operation of foreign-invested enterprises in the country is gradually getting back to normal and the confidence of foreign investors has gradually enhanced, which illustrates the remarkable resilience and stability of China's investment environment.
Yuan also noted that U.S.-funded and Japanese-funded enterprises saw their business operation and production turn better since March and their willingness to continue investing in China improved significantly in March compared with that in February.
China has continued its efforts to optimize the business environment in a bid to offer more conveniences for foreign investors in the country.
In 2019, China saw an improved global ranking in environment for doing business, ascending to 31 from 46 a year before.
Steady progress has been made in bettering the business environment, Zhong stressed, adding that the country will give priority to implementing the foreign investment law this year, creating a fair competition market environment, protecting foreign investors’ legitimate rights and interests, protecting intellectual property rights, and enhancing foreign investors’ confidence in long-term investment in China.
(Edited by Yang Yifan with Xinhua Silk Road, firstname.lastname@example.org)