Increasing foreign investment in NE China highlights new opportunities

(Xinhua) 08:21, October 24, 2023

SHENYANG, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- At a workshop of German automotive parts supplier Vitesco Technologies in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province, autonomous delivery robots shuttle to provide materials for industrial robots, while a small number of workers operate a bustling production line.

Serving as one of its important production bases, Vitesco Automotive Changchun Co., Ltd. has invested more than 500 million yuan (about 69.6 million U.S. dollars) in Jilin Province in the past three years.

"China's new energy vehicle (NEV) industry is already at the forefront globally, which is why we will continue to invest further in the Chinese market and expand production capacity," said Jiang Huaisheng, general manager of Vitesco Automotive Changchun Co., Ltd.

A staff member operates at a workshop of Vitesco Automotive Changchun Co., Ltd. in Changchun, northeast China's Jilin Province, April 21, 2023. (Xinhua/Si Xiaoshuai)

Once the heartland of the nation's heavy industry, northeast China had long been afflicted by industrial overcapacity, shrinking resources and an outflow of talent.

However, the growth of Vitesco Automotive Changchun Co., Ltd. offers a glimpse into foreign capital's optimism about the potential of this region, which includes the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning.

Over the past few years, a slew of multinational corporations have invested or increased their investment in various projects ranging from NEVs and high-end equipment manufacturing to biopharmaceuticals in northeast China, making the region a hot spot for foreign investment.

In March this year, the construction of a mega China-Saudi Arabia chemical project worth 83.7 billion yuan commenced in Panjin City of Liaoning Province. In May, BMW Group's joint venture in China, BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd., began the construction of a new battery production plant in Liaoning's capital, Shenyang, with a total investment of 10 billion yuan.

This photo taken on March 29, 2023 shows the groundbreaking ceremony of a China-Saudi Arabia joint venture project for fine chemicals and raw materials in Panjin, northeast China's Liaoning Province. (Xinhua/Pan Yulong)

Official data show that the actual utilization of foreign capital in Liaoning Province in the first half of this year exceeded the level of the same period in 2019, while in Jilin and Heilongjiang, it increased by 23.83 percent and 85.2 percent year on year, respectively.

The continuous increase of investment in northeast China reflects foreign capital's confidence in the Chinese market and highlights the attraction of the region's industrial revitalization.

As the first industrial base built after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, northeast China not only boasts a complete industrial and supply chain but also has a lot of industrial workers, which enhances investor confidence.

Jochen Goller, president and CEO of BMW Group Region China, said the company values Shenyang's automotive industry and talents, and so it continues to increase its investment in the NEV sector and large-scale projects.

BMW i3 electric cars are pictured at Plant Lydia of BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) in Tiexi District of Shenyang, northeast China's Liaoning Province, June 23, 2022. (Xinhua/Yang Qing)

Furthermore, a conducive business environment also contributes to the growth of foreign enterprises in northeast China.

"Heilongjiang continues to improve and optimize its investment environment and roll out many favorable policies for investors. The government attaches importance to food production and increases investment in agriculture and rural revitalization, providing a broad market for our development," said Luca Mainardi, president of CNH Industrial (Greater China).

In recent years, considerable efforts have been made to push for the revitalization of northeast China, as the region's industrial structure continues to optimize.

A series of high-level opening-up measures in northeast China are making multinational corporations optimistic about new opportunities for win-win cooperation and adding new growth drivers to revitalize the region.

"Northeast China has a solid industrial and scientific research foundation, and is now shifting from traditional and modern industrialization to new industrialization," said Li Zheng, dean of the School of Economics at Liaoning University, who thinks breakthroughs will be made in the full revitalization of northeast China during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025).

"Meanwhile, northeast China is continuously optimizing its institutions, mechanisms and business environment, which will further stimulate the vitality of market entities and the potential for social creation," Li added.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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