China's Shanghai Municipality has released a raft of new measures to attract and facilitate the use of foreign capital, the latest positive signal that the country continues to boost opening-up and stepping up efforts to draw foreign investment.
The Shanghai government unveiled 20 measures covering four aspects, including promoting high-level opening-up, enhancing the using of foreign capital attracted, strengthening support for the development of foreign projects and optimizing services for foreign investment, Hua Yuan, deputy mayor of Shanghai, said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Hua said the government encourages foreign securities, fund management, futures and life insurance firms to take the lead in establishing new businesses in Shanghai, while making efforts to carry out a pilot of opening-up measures in sectors including telecommunications, the digital economy, education and health.
Hua said that foreign capital is encouraged to invest in areas including high-end manufacturing, modern services, high-tech sectors, and energy saving and environment protection. Foreign-funded enterprises are encouraged to equally take advantage of industrial policies and digital transformation. Qualified headquarters will be granted subsidies and rewards in line with relevant laws and regulations.
A series of convenience measures surrounding tax, financial service, personnel exchanges, imports and exports will be implemented, Hua said, stressing that the government will build a sound investment environment and protect the legitimate interests of foreign enterprises.
The city's move came as China intensified efforts to attract foreign investment since the start of 2023 along with the strong rebound of the Chinese economy.
"Investing in China equals choosing a better future," Chinese Premier Li Qiang said on Thursday during meeting with Chinese and foreign business representatives attending the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2023.
China has always attached great importance to attracting and utilizing foreign investment, Li said, adding that China will ease market access further, expand a global-oriented network of high-standard free trade areas, and make solid progress in promoting the high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative.
China's opening-up moves will further strengthen confidence among foreign enterprise in deepening cooperation in the Chinese market, many of whom have been recently expanding investment across China.
Ahead of French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to China, French pharmaceutical company Sanofi signed a partnership agreement with the Pingshan District government in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province on Tuesday, according to a press release sent to the Global Times.
The two parties will continue to accelerate the market access of innovative vaccines and to leverage the Greater Bay Area International Vaccine Innovation Center as the platform to promote innovative development of biopharmaceutical industry in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, it said.
"Sanofi's steady growth in China, especially in vaccines, owes much to the open international business environment created by the Shenzhen Municipal Government and Pingshan District. In the future, we will introduce more innovative products and preventive solutions to support the public health system and meet the disease prevention needs of the Chinese people," Sanofi Executive Vice President and Head of Vaccines Thomas Triomphe was quoted as saying.
In the first two months of 2023, foreign direct investment (FDI) throughout the Chinese mainland, in actual use, expanded 6.1 percent year-on-year to 268.4 billion yuan ($38.94 billion), with high-tech and services industries recording an eye-catching performance, according to data released by the MOFCOM.
Looking ahead, the sustainable healthy development of the Chinese economy and its massive market will create great development potential for foreign-funded enterprises and inject growth momentum to the world economy and trade, analysts said.