By He Yin, People's Daily
China's State Council has recently issued a statement outlining its guidelines regarding further optimizing the foreign investment environment and intensifying efforts to attract foreign investments, making more efforts in attracting and utilizing foreign investment.
The statement has aroused active responses from the international community. Many observers said the 24 measures delineated in the document place emphasis on both the macro and micro issues, "offer conveniences for foreign businessmen's work and life in China in detail", and "help boost the economy."
Such comments have fully proven that China, which has continuously expanded high-standard opening up, holds great appeal to the rest of the world. Despite the rise of global protectionism and the reckless push of "decoupling and breaking the chain" by certain countries, the international community still desires to advance open cooperation and share opportunities offered by China.
"China still presents opportunities that cannot be ignored," noted a recent article published on the website of RBC Wealth Management, a large wealth management firm in Canada.
"With its GDP accounting for 18 percent of the global total, we think the size of China's economy alone demands attention from multinationals. The country has the world's largest middle-income class," wrote the article, pointing out a major reason why foreign institutions are increasing investment in China amid lackluster global economic recovery and sluggish cross-border investment.
Data showed that China has managed to keep foreign investment relatively stable in the first half of this year, when foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland, in actual use, totaled 703.65 billion yuan ($96.66 billion). From January to June, 24,000 new foreign enterprises were established in the country, which represented a year-on-year increase of 35.7 percent.
During the period, the country witnessed continuous improvement in the quality of foreign investment, with high-tech industries and the high-tech manufacturing sector seeing FDI growth of 7.9 percent and 28.8 percent, respectively.
China is not an "option", but a "must-go" destination brimming with immense opportunities. This is a shared view among multinationals, which consistently emphasize their commitment to continuing nurturing and expanding their presence in the Chinese market.
The opportunities offered by China stem from the country's efforts to steadily promote institutional opening up, constantly optimizing its market-oriented, law-based, and internationalized business environment.
Since the beginning of this year, various Chinese departments have intensified efforts to ensure better services for foreign investment. They have strengthened regular communication with foreign firms and business associations to promptly address difficulties in business operations and project implementation, striving to provide greater convenience for foreign traders and investors in China.
In January, China's new Catalogue of Encouraged Industries for Foreign Investment officially took effect, with a historic number of 239 new items further widening the scope of foreign investment.
In June, the General Administration of Customs rolled out 16 new measures to optimize the country's business environment, further bolstering foreign entities' confidence in investment and development in China.
The opportunities offered by China result from the country's efforts to align with high-standard international economic and trade rules and constantly promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of China's pilot free trade zone (FTZ) construction. Since the establishment of the first pilot FTZ in the eastern Chinese metropolis of Shanghai, the country has so far set up 21 FTZs, which have become an important factor driving China's in-depth reform.
Trade and investment facilitation measures, such as the shortened negative list for foreign investment, the Single Window system for international trade, and free trade accounts, were trialed, explored and refined in FTZs before being applied nationwide. To date, a total of 278 institutional innovations piloted in the FTZs have been replicated and promoted nationwide.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement took effect, spurring opening up and cooperation among member countries across more areas, at higher levels, and in greater depth.
China and Singapore have completed "substantive negotiations" on the upgrade of bilateral free trade agreement, the third round of negotiations on Version 3.0 China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA) was successfully held, the negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement between China and Honduras were launched, and China and Nicaragua completed the substantive negotiations on a free trade agreement.
As China's "circle of friends" for free trade area continuously expands, the dividends of the country's opening up are bound to benefit more countries and regions.
The opportunities offered by China also come from the country's efforts to provide high-quality platforms for open cooperation and build bridges for domestic and foreign firms to expand their markets. Embracing the world with open arms, China has warmly invited all parties to share opportunities and seek common development.
China's exhibition economy has been burgeoning since the start of this year. Over 3,300 brands from 65 countries and regions participated in the third China International Consumer Products Expo held in southern China's island province of Hainan.
During the 133rd Canton Fair, also known as the China Import and Export Fair, held in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong province, $21.69 billion worth of export deals were signed on site.
The third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo that took place in Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan province, saw more docking projects between enterprises than ever.
Some 75 countries and international organizations will participate in the upcoming China International Fair for Trade in Services 2023 offline in the name of national governments or headquarters. Over 1,800 companies are gearing up to participate in the offline and online exhibitions of the event.
More than 280 Fortune Global 500 companies and industry-leading enterprises have signed up for the sixth China International Import Expo.
According to data released by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, an economic research institute based in Germany, China has become the first country in the world to break the $300 billion mark in the monthly value of exports in goods.
Despite the recent slowdown in demand from developed economies, China's foreign trade has maintained a sound trend toward stable growth and showed continuous improvement in its structure, exhibiting strong resilience, pointed out analysts.
The more the world faces the risks brought about by protectionism, the more it needs the willingness and ability to continuously expand opening up. By vigorously advancing high-standard opening up and pursuing a higher-level open economy through more impactful actions, China not only benefits itself, but also makes valuable contributions to the world.