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MNCs show confidence in Tianjin with investments

By YANG CHENG in Tianjin | China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-21 10:34
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A glance at a production line of FAW-Volkswagen in Tianjin. [Photo provided to]

A surge in foreign investment recorded in the coastal city of Tianjin reflects the confidence of multinational corporations in the Chinese market, officials and experts said.

On Wednesday, US-based pet food company Mars and Sino-German joint venture FAW-Volkswagen announced new investments of up to 3.3 billion yuan ($414.9 million) in the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA), a pivotal zone within the Binhai New Area.

FAW-Volkswagen signed an agreement with the administrative committee of TEDA to invest over 2.3 billion yuan in the FAW-Volkswagen Tianjin Plant. It plans to roll out three SUV models under the Audi and Volkswagen brands at the factory by 2026.

Mars also inaugurated operations on Wednesday of its new Tianjin pet food factory, which was built with an investment of $137 million.

Ikdeep Singh, president of Mars Pet Nutrition Global, said, "The new factory is a crucial addition to our global supply chain, enabling us to respond promptly to the diverse needs of Chinese pet owners with flexibility and efficiency."

Singh said the company will further solidify its relationships with Chinese suppliers, customers, and pet owners, expanding Mars' business in Tianjin.

He said he believes "the new factory signifies a commitment to positively contribute to the global evolution of pet care".

Gao Jiefang, general manager of FAW-Volkswagen Tianjin branch, said that the new lineup will enhance the company's market presence in the new energy segment in North China. "This new lineup is aimed at the increasingly high-end segment of the Chinese market," he added.

In agreement with Gao, Hong Shicong, head of the administrative committee of TEDA, said, "The area is prepared to promptly meet demand from foreign and joint venture companies, tailoring its services for their quality growth."

According to the Ministry of Commerce, in the first quarter, some 12,000 foreign companies established a foothold in China, marking a 20.7 percent increase year-on-year.

These figures contradict arguments suggesting some foreign investment outflow from China.

Wang Yujing, a professor at the School of Economics, Tianjin University of Commerce, said: "The data from the first quarter and the recent influx of new investments on May 15 indicate a strong confidence among foreign investors in the Chinese market.

"This trend demonstrates that multinational corporations are solidifying their industrial chains and market presence, entering a virtuous cycle in China.

"It also means China's investment climate is ever improving …restricting investments in certain countries is not a widespread and wise practice among multinational corporations."

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