Economic Watch: China remains popular destination for foreign investment
Aerial photo taken on Dec. 28, 2021 shows the new Tiexi Plant of BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) under construction in Shenyang, northeast China's Liaoning Province. (Xinhua/Yang Qing)
BEIJING, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- China remains a hot spot for foreign investment, as business operators' opinions resonate with the country's official data.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland, in actual use, expanded 14.5 percent year on year to 127.69 billion yuan in January, the Ministry of Commerce said Monday. In U.S. dollar terms, the FDI inflow went up 10 percent year on year to 19.02 billion U.S. dollars.
High-tech industries saw a rapid FDI increase of 62.8 percent in January. Specifically, foreign investment in high-tech manufacturing surged 74.5 percent, while that in the high-tech service sector rose 59.6 percent.
In Shenyang, the capital city of Liaoning Province in northeast China, the five millionth car produced by BMW Group's joint venture in China, BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. (BBA), rolled off the production line on Monday.
The five millionth car is an all-new pure electric BMW i3 eDrive40L, which shows that BMW is ready for the electric era in China's automotive industry, said Franz Decker, the president and CEO of BBA, in an interview.
The company said BMW sold about 42,000 pure electric vehicles in China in 2022, up 91.6 percent from the previous year.
In south China's Guangdong Province, ExxonMobil's mega-investment project in Huizhou made new progress in February as it completed the hoisting of heavy equipment and started the construction of a technology center.
The ExxonMobil Huizhou Ethylene Project, with a total investment of about 10 billion U.S. dollars, has seen the smooth construction of the first-phase project and the preparatory work of the second-phase project.
It is ExxonMobil's first integrated center of its kind outside the North American headquarters with a pilot plant, product development, and process development, which can serve to meet the growing market and technology needs of the Asia Pacific region, according to Fernando Vallina, chairman of ExxonMobil (China) Investment Co., Ltd.
"We believe that Guangdong has a highly business-friendly environment. The government is very experienced. We will continue investing here with our model. It's not to build just one plant; it is to build first a complex and then keep on adding faces, keep on investing for many years," said Vallina.
Data show that the total amount of funds in place for the whole project reached 1.42 billion U.S. dollars, and the accumulative investment in fixed assets reached 17.55 billion yuan (around 2.55 billion U.S. dollars) by the end of 2022.
"China is the biggest market in the world for chemicals. It is the second-largest economy in the world. So it's a vitally important market for us. We believe that to be successful globally, it's imperative to be successful in China," said Vallina.
GE Healthcare China President and CEO Zhang Yihao said the strong resilience and vitality of the Chinese economy and the opportunities for China to further open up at a higher level strengthened the company's confidence in deep-rooted development in China.
FDI flowing into China's central region reported a year-on-year expansion of 25.9 percent in January, followed by 21.6 percent in the western region.
Shu Jueting, a spokesperson for the commerce ministry, said on Thursday at a press conference that China will always adhere to open cooperation and provide opportunities for the world through its own development.
Foreign businesses will enjoy more opportunities in China's enormous markets, institutional opening-up, and deepened international cooperation, Vice Minister of Commerce Sheng Qiuping has said.