Monday

5th Dec 2022

Stakeholder

An open China will foster a world-class business environment

  • China has expanded market access to the new-energy vehicles, securities and insurance sectors, and working to completely open up the general manufacturing sector for foreign investors (Photo: Jonathan)

Since starting my mandate six months ago, China's business environment has been a frequent topic of conversation with European friends. Many are asking what China's business environment is like and whether it will keep improving.

Unquestionably, China is very attractive to foreign investors. For years, China has outperformed many other developing countries in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows and actual utilisation.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Zhang Ming, China's ambassador to the EU (Photo: Xinhua)

In 2017, despite a decline in global FDI flows, more than 35,000 foreign-invested companies were newly established in China, up by 27.8 percent year-on-year. In 2017, China utilised $136.3bn of foreign capital, hitting a record high and making itself the second largest FDI destination, only next to the United States.

As of January this year, the EU's FDI stock in China had exceeded $120bn, and the EU had invested in nearly 45,000 projects in China.

Surveys show that over 50 percent of EU companies plan to further expand their operations in China. According to the World Bank's flagship annual report Doing Business 2018, China is ranked 18 places higher than five years ago for ease of doing business, and its score is higher than the average of East Asia and Pacific economies as well as most major emerging economies.

These figures speak for themselves. Investors are voting with their feet in favour of China.

China's efforts prove to be effective in easing market access, strengthening rule of law and providing better services.

Equal access for foreign investors

The highlights of our work in the past five years are as follows:

- We have revised the law on Chinese-Foreign Joint Ventures and other laws and regulations related to foreign investment, with an aim to foster a more transparent, fairer and well-conceived legal environment.

- We have expanded market access to such sectors as new-energy vehicles, securities and insurance, significantly cutting restrictive measures on foreign investment, and committed to providing equal access under "Made in China 2025" policies to foreign companies.

- We have made business registration easier for foreign investors by canceling or delegating more than one third of items subject to State Council review and approval.

- We have worked vigorously to step up intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and leveled the playing field.

- We have been advancing pilot-free trade zones in a holistic way to create more opportunities for foreign companies.

China, though, is still a developing country.

For a country at such a stage of development, some issues related to business environment are understandable. Yet, we are determined to address them in the course of reform and opening-up.

At this year's annual sessions of China's National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the Chinese government promised to strengthen alignment with international business rules and foster a world-class business environment. Specifically, our efforts will include but not limited to the following:

- We will completely open up the general manufacturing sector, and expand access to sectors like telecommunications, medical services, and new-energy vehicles.

- We will ease or lift restrictions on the share of foreign-owned equity in companies in sectors including banking, securities, and futures, and make market entry standards the same for both Chinese and foreign banks.

- We will grant overseas investors tax deferral for the reinvestment of profit made in China.

- We will simplify procedures for setting up foreign-invested enterprises, apply practices developed in pilot-free trade zones across the country, and explore opening free trade ports.

As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up, we stand ready to take new and bigger steps to offer a world-class business environment that is more equitable, transparent and predictable.

We would be happy to see European companies seizing the opportunities arising therefrom and achieving greater success.

Author bio

Zhang Ming is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Head of Mission of the People's Republic of China to the European Union.

Disclaimer

This article is sponsored by a third party. All opinions in this article reflect the views of the author and not of EUobserver.

China-EU relations in the new era

A new type of international relations is needed to advance China-EU relations to a new level, says the Chinese ambassador to the EU.

Openness for greater prosperity, innovation for a better future

Reform and opening-up is a great process that has seen China and the world achieve development and progress together, with more than 700 million Chinese people lifted out of poverty, China's president Jinping told the Boao Forum for Asia.

ASEM: Global Partners for Global Challenges

As anti-globalisation and protectionist sentiments threaten to come back, it is more important than ever for ASEM members to come together, think in the long term, and take coordinated actions to resist unilateralism and uphold multilateralism.

EU, wake up! Don't leave West Balkans to Russia or China

Russia's attack on Ukraine and European values must remind us how important the enlargement process is, if properly conducted, as a motor for democracy, freedom, peace, the rule of law and prosperity, write six S&D MEPs.

Dialogue and action – Nordic cooperation and view on COP26

Nordic countries launched several initiatives at the COP26 climate conference which will have a real impact on the ground. Nordic and UK pension funds are to invest billions in clean energy and climate initiatives. Greenland has joined the Paris Agreement.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  4. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  5. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos

Latest News

  1. Hungary's funds showdown in focus This WEEK
  2. EU must break Orbán's veto on a tax rate for multinationals
  3. Belarus dictator's family loves EU luxuries, flight data shows
  4. How Berlin and Paris sold-out the EU corporate due diligence law
  5. Turkey's EU-funded detention centres ripe with abuse: NGO
  6. In green subsidy race, EU should not imitate US
  7. EU Commission proposes suspending billions to Hungary
  8. EU: Russian assets to be returned in case of peace treaty

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Committee of the RegionsRe-Watch EURegions Week 2022
  2. UNESDA - Soft Drinks EuropeCall for EU action – SMEs in the beverage industry call for fairer access to recycled material
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  4. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  6. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us