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Undeniable benefits of high-level opening-up

By Liu Zhihua | China Daily | Updated: 2022-11-28 09:09
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The skyline of Beijing. [Photo/VCG]

Recent COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland are distinct in terms of their impact on business sentiment. Unlike the outbreak in March, this time, people don't seem worried too much about the possible impact of COVID-19 on exports and economic prospects.

One reason behind that, I think, is the confidence that many people have in the Chinese economy. The fundamentals supporting sound economic development over the long term in China remain unchanged, after all that the country has gone through in the past few years.

Latest data from the Ministry of Commerce have again pointed to a positive picture of the country's attractiveness for foreign investors, in sharp contrast to some foreign media reports that foreign companies are relocating their supply chains away from China.

The total amount of China's utilized foreign investment surged 14.4 percent year-on-year to 1.09 trillion yuan ($152 billion) during the first 10 months of the year.

Investment from South Korea, Germany, the United Kingdom and Japan expanded by 106 percent, 96 percent, 40 percent and 37 percent year-on-year respectively.

Moreover, investment flows into eastern, central and western regions of China increased 12.4 percent, 33.6 percent and 26.9 percent year-on-year respectively.

The double-digit increase is impressive, if we take into consideration last year's high base, as well as the disruptions from the pandemic, the Ukraine-Russia conflict, and the weak cross-border investment globally as the world's economic recovery slows down.

So where does such confidence come from? China's complete industrial system, humongous market, stable society and sound economic fundamentals promise long-term prospects, and they form the basis for such strong confidence, analysts said.

The country's unwavering commitment to opening up still wider to the rest of the world, which is reflected in the concrete actions it has taken to accelerate the pace of its opening-up in recent years, also boosts foreign investors' confidence in investing in China.

The country has been continuously downsizing the negative lists for foreign investment, while stepping up efforts to better protect legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors.

It has set up 21 free trade zones, advanced the Belt and Road Initiative, signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which is a free trade pact signed with 14 other Asia-Pacific economies, and is seeking membership in multiple multilateral trade agreements.

Apart from its continuously improving business environment, the China International Import Expo, which has been held for five successive years beginning from 2018, is another testimony to the country's determination to share its development dividends with others.

Moreover, thanks to the growing innovation capability of Chinese enterprises, foreign investors now see China not only as a huge market, but also as an important source of innovations.

For instance, US-based pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly recently announced collaboration agreements with two of China's top diagnostic firms, Amoy Diagnostics Co Ltd in Xiamen, Fujian province, and Burning Rock Biotech Ltd in Guangzhou, Guangdong province.

They will jointly develop and market testing kits for patients with thyroid cancer and lung cancer who have mutation in the RET gene for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

"Thanks to the supportive policies in China, we are picking up pace to introduce more innovative drugs in the country," said Julio Gay-Ger, president and general manager of Lilly China.

"We will explore more diversified partnerships with local partners to accelerate innovative drug development and expand their accessibility," he said.

As long as China develops well and pursues high-level opening-up, there is no reason that foreign investors will neglect such an important market of true benefits.

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