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Trade fair to serve economic development goals

(chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2016-08-31 11:37

As the 19th China International Fair for Investment & Trade is to open in less than a month, the fair's sponsor, China's Ministry of Commerce, hosted a press conference at which Wang Shouwen, vice minister of commerce, briefed the media on China's investment data to illuminate the economic background of the forthcoming fair and explained how the fair's itineraries will reflect and better serve China's development priorities.

Trade fair to serve economic development goals

Wang Shouwen, vice minister of commerce, introduces the upcoming China International Fair for Investment & Trade at a media briefing on Aug 23.[Photo from chinafair.org.cn]

Inbound foreign investment in China

As of end of July, 850,000 foreign-invested companies were established in China and the country assimilated foreign investment of up to $1,700 billion. This level ranked first among developing countries, a position China has held for 24 years.

In the first seven months of 2016, 16,000 foreign-invested companies were newly established in China and a total of $77.13 billion in foreign investment was absorbed. Foreign investment made through merger and acquisition activities took up one fifth of the total amount. The high-tech service sector received 98.2 percent more foreign investment compared to the same period last year. The foreign investment actively used in the western part of China grew by 31 percent annually. Investment from the Europe Union and the United States recovered, growing by 35.6 percent and 129.8 percent respectively.

China's outbound investment

From January to July, investors from the Chinese mainland made direct investment of $102.7 billion in non-financial areas in 156 countries and regions, a growth of 60 percent from last year. Of the total, 73 percent went to developed economies including Australia, the United States, Russia, Japan and the European Union. Half of the total investment was made through mergers and acquisitions. And last but not least, investment in nations covered in the Belt and Road Initiative grew steadily with even further potential.

China's vision and commitment

As China's 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) begins, the country is facing a strategic window of deepening reform and opening-up in all areas..

President Xi Jinping made a commitment when attending the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2015 that there will be no change in China's policies on foreign investment, its guarantee of the lawful rights and interests of foreign enterprises investing in China, or its orientation of improving service for enterprises from other countries to invest and develop in China.

In the future, the government will continue to simplify administrative procedures, delegate authority and implement more reformative measures. It will also build on the country's economic openness by lifting more investment constraints placed on foreign investors and improving the investment environment.

CIFIT's role in facilitating China's economic development by promoting investment

Approved by China’s State Council, the CIFIT is the only trade fair that promotes both inbound and outbound investment in China. Held in Xiamen, Fujian province, each September since 1997, it has attracted approximately 10,000 overseas and 40,000 domestic participants each of the recent years..

The CIFIT boosts inbound and outbound investment, discloses information including government policies, and organizes in-depth discussions on investment trends. Looking to the future, it strives to be more professional, international and market-oriented.

To facilitate the country's opening-up, government officials, economists, and company representatives are invited to the 2016 International Investment Forum, running in tandem with the 19th CIFIT, to speak and offer advice on developing open economic systems.

The 19th CIFIT will convene a meeting of China's policy makers to listen to recommendations for improvements to the business environment from representatives of 50 multinational enterprises and business associations.

To provide customized services to participants, the 19th CIFIT is running an online platform, icifit.com, through which investors, government agencies and intermediary services providers can communicate efficiently. The CIFIT will also organize more than 250 tailor-made business-matching events; nearly half of them will be integrated with assorted exhibitions.

To target specific issues in economic development and cooperation, the Ministry of Commerce will host a score of forums and seminars at the 19th CIFIT, targeting industrial and cross-Straits cooperation, development of the financial leasing industry, corporate joint ventures, and foreign investment.

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