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China Daily Website

Foreign companies eye new 'opening-up'

Updated: 2013-06-24 03:00
By DING QINGFEN and LIU JIE ( China Daily)

Because of the debt crisis in the eurozone and increasingly rising labor costs in China, the nation's foreign direct investment saw an annual drop of 3.7 percent in 2012, the first since 2009. The drop has aroused global concerns over whether China can continue to maintain pole position as the most appealing foreign investment destination among the emerging markets as it did for more than a decade.

China itself has few such worries. More than that, the nation is striving to go far beyond being a global manufacturing powerhouse, welcoming foreign businesses to get involved in more of the high-end industries to sharpen industrial competitiveness and implement an upgraded version of Chinese economics, something senior figures have repeatedly vowed to do.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has said on many occasions that China will advance development through opening-up in terms of R&D, new energy and services to foreign businesses.

Gao Hucheng, the minister of commerce, said recently that China will continue to welcome foreign investment, encouraging businesses to go into the sectors of high technology and R&D in the central and western parts of China in particular.

The new development has already started.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, in 2012, foreign investment flowing into China's high-end manufacturing industries of general equipment manufacturing and transportation equipment manufacturing saw fast growth of 31.8 and 17.2 percent from a year earlier, while the nation's foreign direct investment dropped by 3.7 percent year-on-year to $111.7 billion during the same period.

During the monthly news briefing in April, Shen Danyang, spokesman for the ministry, said the ups and downs of FDI figures do not mean much.

"It's the quality of the FDI that China really wants and cares about" and China is glad to see more foreign investment is flowing into high-end manufacturing and services, he said.

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