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Nation going all out to be investment magnet

By WANG YING in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-07 09:52
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The logo of China International Import Expo, or CIIE, is decorated with flowers in Shanghai on Oct 29, 2023. [Photo/VCG]

China will strengthen efforts to remain an investment hotspot by lowering market entry thresholds, creating a better business environment and improving foreign investment utilization levels, officials said.

Chinese modernization, driven by high-quality development, will provide foreign investors with a broader market space and more opportunities for collaboration, said Commerce Minister Wang Wentao on Sunday on the sidelines of the ongoing sixth China International Import Expo in Shanghai.

"China's fundamentals, including its super large market scale, complete industrial supporting facilities and an upward economic trend, will not change, and such comprehensive strengths are still prominent," Wang, who gave a speech at the "Invest in China Year" summit and Shanghai city promotion event in Shanghai, said.

The event aims to amplify the spillover effect of the CIIE, showcase the achievements made by the Ministry of Commerce's "Invest in China Year", and demonstrate investment opportunities in Shanghai.

The metropolis is a window through which the world will see China's firm steps in continuing its opening-up, and the strong economic prospects and huge opportunities generated by Chinese modernization, said Chen Jining, Party secretary of Shanghai, at the event.

"The development of Shanghai's economy showed great resilience and vitality," Chen said, adding that the city's GDP grew at 6 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters, and some 353,000 new enterprises set up base in Shanghai, up 42 percent year-on-year.

"Shanghai is a charming city full of hope and unlimited opportunities, and it is a land for entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams and make a career. We will continue to create a first-class business environment that is market-oriented, law-based and internationalized, provide accurate, convenient and innovative high-quality services, and work hand in hand with everybody to create an open and prosperous future," said Gong Zheng, mayor of Shanghai.

As of end-September, Shanghai was home to 940 multinational corporations' regional headquarters and 551 foreign-funded research and development centers. The city has been gaining in popularity among foreign investors and MNCs, Gong said.

Markus Steilemann, CEO of Covestro, said China is one of Covestro's largest markets, contributing to one-fifth of the group's total sales revenue last year.

Steilemann said the company's total investment in China surpassed 3.9 billion euros ($535.6 million) as of the end of 2022, and that its investment will continue.

Themed "Working Together for a Bright Future of Openness and Prosperity", the summit, jointly held by the Ministry of Commerce and the Shanghai Municipal People's Government, looked to better enable CIIE to play a bigger role in investment promotion and showcase China's investment opportunities.

More than 300 guests, including officials, MNC executives, representatives from international organizations and foreign business associations, attended the summit.

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