Investors promised more open, transparent market

08:04, September 08, 2010      

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Vice-President Xi Jinping and Mozambican Prime Minister Aires Ali attend the opening of the 2nd World Investment Forum, organized biennially by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, in Xiamen, Fujian province, on Tuesday. (Wang Jing / China Daily)

China is dedicated to creating a "more open and optimized" investment environment for foreign businesses, and will strive to remain the world's most attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI), Vice-President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday.

Xi made the remarks, which were welcomed by global trade officials, at the opening ceremony of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 2010 World Investment Forum (WIF) in Xiamen, Fujian province.

The Chinese government's efforts in both attracting foreign investment and encouraging outbound investment were highlighted by Xi.

His remarks were praised by high-level officials both from trade organizations and foreign countries, who agreed more vigorous investment policies by the Chinese government would greatly benefit the global economic recovery.

"While China is more open to the world, foreign companies operating in China will find more potential for growth and will enjoy better commercial benefits here," said Xi.

And "China will go on committing itself to creating a more open, transparent and stable environment", by improving regulatory laws, widening market access and better protecting intellectual property rights (IPRs), in the years ahead, he added.

China would remain a top international investment destination until 2012, UNCTAD said in an investment survey released late Monday.

The survey also revealed that international companies expressed more optimism about the business climate and planned to increase investment during that period.

During the first seven months of this year, China's FDI witnessed impressive growth of 20.7 percent from a year earlier to $58.35 billion, the highest worldwide. This reversed an FDI decrease of 2.6 percent last year. China is now the second largest FDI destination after the US.

Shen Danyang, deputy director of the General Office of the Ministry of Commerce, said last Sunday that China's FDI would keep surging and was expected to pass $100 billion this year.

Besides the FDI policies, Xi also emphasized China would "accelerate its overseas investment by all means, providing support to qualified companies to set up international marketing networks and enhance China's infrastructure cooperation abroad".

"The efforts on promoting outbound direct investment (ODI) helped speed up China's industrial transformation, thus giving a stimulus to its exports," said Xi.

China climbed to fifth largest outbound investor worldwide in 2009, up from 12th in 2008, the ministry said on Sunday. By the end of 2009, China's 13,000 enterprises expanded business overseas with investments worth $245.7 billion.

Minister of Commerce Chen Deming predicted on Tuesday that China's ODI would surge to $50-60 billion in 2010.

The US Under Secretary for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs, Robert Hormats, said that "China's move to optimize the investment environment is very constructive". But he added that China still needed to create a level playing field for domestic and foreign companies on IPR issues.

Mozambican Prime Minister Aires Ali said on Tuesday that new players were emerging in the rising wave of investment in Africa, led especially by China, India and Brazil, and their investment and infrastructure projects had "helped Africa walk out of the crisis".

The recent report by UNCTAD showed foreign investment flows began to recover this year, after faltering in 2008, and will gain momentum over the next two years. "China will definitely lead the recovery," said James Zhan, director of division on investment and enterprise under UNCTAD.

Zhou Siyu, Lin Qi and Yang Cheng contributed to this story.

By Ding Qingfen, China Daily


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