China to open up more to foreign investment

September 9th, 2008 - 9:45 am ICT by IANS  

Xiamen (China), Sep 9 (Xinhua) Communist China has said it would continue its opening-up policy to let foreign investment in and utilise foreign capital for the development of the country.As one of the main drivers of the country’s development, foreign investment has brought capital, technology and management experience, among others, vice-premier Wang Qishan has said.

China in the past 16 years has attracted more foreign capital than any other country in the developing world and is now exploring possibilities of opening up new areas including agriculture, manufacturing and services.

Many international companies viewed China as their first choice.

The government has taken up a multi-prong strategy to remove obstacles to free flow of foreign capital in the country. They include promotion of the investment environment, better utilization of foreign capital and encouragement to Chinese enterprises to invest in foreign countries, among others.

It is also taking steps to simplify its commercial laws to make them transparent and investment-friendly.

The government is encouraging foreign capital to flow into high-tech, modern agriculture, energy conservation industries and services sectors to foster innovation and harmonious development.

It will also encourage foreign companies to invest domestically through founding local offices or participating in the reforms of domestic enterprises, the vice-premier has said.

In the post-Olympic Games period China would insist on the opening-up policy and peaceful development, Commerce Minister Chen Deming said.

“I believe every friend here at the fair will receive the opportunity and benefit from the peaceful rise of China.”

“The country (China) is committed to meeting its World Trade Organization obligations, which should boost FDI (foreign direct investment) even more,” said Alessandro Teixeira, World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies president.

“Sectors such as domestic commerce, financial services, insurance and tourism are being gradually opened up. Geographic restrictions on where foreign companies are allowed to set up operations are expected to be relaxed in the coming years,” he said.

“China’s foreign investment policy has come to a turning point, and preferential treatment for foreign capital has been in principle abolished with the exception of certain sectors including high-technology,” said Shoichiro Toyoda, the third chairman of the Japan-China Investment Promotion Organization.

Established in 1990, it sought to improve the investment climate and promote investment in China.

At almost the same time, the China-Japan Investment Promotion Committee was established as its Chinese counterpart.

During the 18 years since its establishment, the Japanese committee has provided support and information for Japanese firms intending to invest in China. It has helped companies deal with problems they encountered.

Currently, its member companies number more than 370. In addition, it has provided advice on more than 20,000 cases.

According to official statistics, Japan’s investment in China was decreasing. Japanese statistics, however, indicated the amount of investment, including reinvestment by companies operating in China, had not decreased. It had remained relatively unchanged, Toyoda said.

“In my view, there are four key elements that we should focus on for further promoting new investment in China. They are energy-saving and green technology, smaller companies, the development of Central, Western and Northeast China, and special preferential treatment,” he said.

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