Xinhua Commentary: China's high-standard opening up offers promising prospects for foreign investors

Updated: December 26, 2023 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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Employees work at Tesla's Shanghai Gigafactory in east China's Shanghai, Dec. 22, 2023.(Xinhua/Fang Zhe)

BEIJING, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Tesla has announced that its new mega factory project in Shanghai was officially launched and scheduled to begin production within the next year, following the establishment of its Shanghai Gigafactory in 2019, which is the first wholly foreign-owned vehicle manufacturing project in China and Tesla's first Gigafactory outside the United States.

The new project is one of the recent outcomes of China's increased efforts to promote high-standard opening up, including expanding institutional opening up, reducing restrictions on foreign investment, and improving the business environment, all of which have provided promising prospects for foreign investors.

China has taken concrete steps to open up multiple sectors wider to international investors to better attract global production factors. It shortened the negative list for foreign investment access for five consecutive years from 2017, ranging from securities and banking to automotive and aircraft manufacturing. Dozens of fairs hosted annually around China have provided ideal platforms for foreign companies to pursue deeper cooperation with the world's second-largest economy, which in turn yields good results in trade and investment.

In October, China announced that it will remove all restrictions on foreign investment access in the manufacturing sector. The annual central economic work conference held earlier this month emphasized the importance of improving market access for the telecommunications and medical industries.

In the financial sector, China has been deepening the reform and promoting the two-way opening up of its capital market. As the world's second-largest insurance, stock and bond market, China has been more open to foreign-invested institutions. Such institutions have also brought vitality and experience to the Chinese capital market.

As of Nov. 8, the China Securities Regulatory Commission had approved 20 foreign-controlled and wholly foreign-owned securities, futures, and fund companies since China lifted foreign ownership restrictions for such companies in 2020. Standard Chartered Securities (China) Limited, the country's first securities firm that is wholly foreign-owned since its establishment, revealed earlier this month that it had been granted a license to commence securities business.

China's high-standard opening up is based on its massive market and integrated industrial system. China's per capita GDP has exceeded 12,000 U.S. dollars and the country boasts the world's largest middle-income population of over 400 million which is constantly growing. Consumption potential is likely to be further unlocked through steps to increase effective demand, improve consumer expectations, and promote supply-side reform, presenting foreign investors with vast market space and cooperation opportunities.

China's stable supply chains, efficient logistics, and high-quality labor force have made the country an irreplaceable investment destination. As China seizes the opportunities in the technological revolution and industrial transformation to move its industries up to the medium-high end of the global value chain, Chinese enterprises have gained more advantages in emerging sectors such as the electric vehicle industry and supplying not only components but also experience and technologies in collaboration with foreign investors.

In the first 10 months of 2023, the number of newly-established foreign-invested enterprises increased by 32.1 percent year on year. China will continue to build a sound business environment that is market-oriented, law-based, and internationalized for foreign enterprises to play a unique role in linking domestic and international economies and optimizing resource allocation in the Chinese market, as part of its commitment to advancing high-standard opening up.

Editor: Yang Yifan