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China to remain attractive to foreign investment: official

Updated: Dec 29,2016 8:55 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China will remain a strong magnet for global capital due to its huge market potential and continued opening, a government official said on Dec 29.

“The government will continue to reduce restrictions on foreign investors, pay more attention to their concerns, and protect their lawful rights and interests,” Shen Danyang, spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce, said at a news conference.

China will create a fairer, more transparent and predictable investment environment, Shen added.

Responding to media reports that foreign-funded businesses have started to face more difficulties in China, Shen said such reports “failed to see the whole picture.”

While acknowledging that some businesses that rely on low costs and policy support did see shrinking profits, Shen said China’s business environment has actually been improving thanks to government efforts.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s report showed China is still one of the most attractive investment destinations. The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China also said more than two-thirds of EU companies’ operations in China were profitable. The American Chamber of Commerce in China has said 68 percent of businesses plan to expand investment in the country.

In the first 11 months, China used 731.8 billion yuan (around $105 billion) of foreign investment, up 3.9 percent year on year and the largest among developing countries for 24 consecutive years, Shen said. Investment from the United States and the European Union increased by 55.4 percent and 43.9 percent, respectively.

Shen noted that China’s huge market potential will create more opportunities for foreign companies, citing steady economic growth, robust retail sales, and ongoing industrial restructuring.

Foreign-funded businesses, plus those from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, raked in combined profits of 1.5 trillion yuan in the Jan-Nov period, up 10.8 percent from a year ago.