Bustling int'l services trade fair attests to China's foreign investment magnetism

Updated: September 5, 2023 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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This photo shows a digital figure during the 2023 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) at China National Convention Center in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 2, 2023.(Xinhua/Ren Chao)

By Xinhua Writers Wang Siyuan and Zhou Qianxian

BEIJING, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Introducing new products, services, and technologies; announcing cooperations with Chinese partners and exchanging ideas at forums -- the hustle and bustle of foreign exhibitors at the ongoing 2023 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) has painted an inspiring picture of China's foreign investment magnetism.

The 2023 CIFTIS, held in Beijing from Sept. 2 to 6, has attracted over 500 Global Fortune 500 companies and industry-leading enterprises, and many of them are eyeing growing opportunities amid the country's innovation-driven development and opening-up endeavors.

"We attach great importance to the CIFTIS, as it's a crucial platform to showcase innovations, share experience, and promote cooperation," said Meng Pu, chairman of Qualcomm China.

At the booth of the company, visitors flocked to interact with an artificial intelligence (AI) model via a mobile phone, asking it to draw pictures. Qualcomm will also release a white paper related to AI technology offline at the fair on Tuesday.

"Our company has participated in the fair for four consecutive years, and we are bullish on the Chinese market," said Meng.

British-headquartered global pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has participated in the CIFTIS for the third time, showcasing its achievements in the Chinese market and signing agreements with its Chinese partners.

In August, AstraZeneca further invested 250 million U.S. dollars in its Qingdao pMDI inhalation manufacturing and supply site in east China's Shandong Province.

"China is becoming more and more important in our global development strategy," said Leon Wang, executive vice president, international and China president at AstraZeneca, adding that the company has witnessed China's opening-up drive and benefitted from the country's development.

In the first seven months, foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland, in actual use in high-tech manufacturing, expanded 25.3 percent year on year, while high-tech industries saw an FDI increase of 3.8 percent during the period, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

During this year's CIFTIS, China reaffirmed its commitment to promoting high-standard opening up and advancing Chinese modernization on all fronts through high-quality development, a step further in strengthening cooperation to propel global economic recovery.

The sound foundation of China's economic growth remains unchanged, and its determination to open up has shored up the confidence of multinationals to tap into the Chinese market, said Jacky Zou, vice president of KPMG China, adding that China is still a popular destination for global investors.

In the past five years, China ranked among the top in return on foreign investment, and it's an appeal to overseas enterprises, he said in an interview with Xinhua.

The country is actively promoting the progress of turning the country's super-large market into broader opportunities for foreign firms by rolling out supportive policies.

China's State Council unveiled guidelines to optimize China's foreign investment environment further last month, detailing measures such as expanding pilot areas to open wider in terms of services, encouraging foreign firms and their R&D centers to undertake major sci-tech projects, facilitating the travel of senior executives, technicians and their families, and enhancing the expertise of personnel in local government offices handling foreign investment.

The guidelines came timeously, reflecting that China considers it important to attract and utilize foreign investment while advancing its own economic development, said Zhang Qi, an expert with the Development Research Center of the State Council.

Later the same month, the Ministry of Finance and the State Taxation Administration announced that the current preferential Individual Income Tax policies for foreign individuals would be extended for four years to Dec. 31, 2027.

The American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham China) applauds these decisions, which help companies better retain and attract vital expatriate employees while efficiently managing operational costs, said Colm Rafferty, AmCham China Chairman.

As China has made consistent efforts in advancing high-level opening-up, more foreign investment will flow into the Chinese market, and more synergy will be forged to propel global economic recovery, said Michael Bi, managing partner of EY Greater China Markets.

Editor: Duan Jing