Monday

26th Aug 2019

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

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join 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.

News in Brief

  1. Ocean Viking to disembark in Malta after ordeal
  2. Germany joins France in world outcry on Brazil fires
  3. British people lose faith in Brexit deal
  4. Brexit hardliners want further changes to EU deal
  5. German manufacturers confirm fear of recession
  6. Belgian socialists and liberals scrap over EU post
  7. Fall in EU migration leading to UK skills shortages
  8. Switzerland makes post-Brexit flight preparations

Stakeholders' Views

This EUobserver section provides a platform for EU stakeholders to communicate positions, views and activities.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. Spain heading for yet another general election
  2. EU to discuss Brazil beef ban over Amazon fires
  3. 'Our house is burning,' Macron says on Amazon fires
  4. What happens when trafficking survivors get home
  5. EU states and Russia clash on truth of WW2 pact
  6. EU considers new rules on facial recognition
  7. EU to pledge Africa security funds at G7 summit
  8. Letter from the EESC on per diem article

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  3. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  4. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  6. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  7. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  12. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us