A man works at the construction site of the Shenzhen World Exhibition and Convention Center in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province, April 25, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)
Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, remains attractive to multinational companies, thanks to its key position in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, business-friendly environment and favorable government policies.
Foreign direct investment in Shenzhen increased 87.8 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters of this year, data from the Shenzhen statistics bureau showed on Tuesday. A total of 4,665 international companies were newly established during the period.
According to the bureau, Shenzhen's commerce sector attracted 33 new projects during the same period, with a newly added registered capital of 7.13 billion yuan ($1.02 billion).
The new projects include the smart retail center of US-based retailer Walmart, the global innovation center of the Irish company Accenture and the innovation center of Finnish company Slush.
The enthusiasm of foreign investors for Shenzhen fully displays their confidence in the long-term growth potential of the city, powered by policy support and a robust business environment, according to experts.
Compared with other international technology hubs like Silicon Valley, Shenzhen has a unique appeal in its distinctive location, Liu Guohong, director of the Department of Finance and Modern Industries at the China Development Institute in Shenzhen, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
"Shenzhen is the center of the Greater Bay Area and the Pearl River Delta region, which is known for its rich foundation in manufacturing, expanding market and potential for development," he said.
According to the Shenzhen statics bureau, the increase in foreign investment in Shenzhen largely came in the services sector.
This proves the improvement of the business environment in Shenzhen, Liu said.
"Unlike manufacturing, the services sector relies much more heavily on the maturity of the overall business environment. Services companies usually decide whether to invest in a city based on the difficulty of dealing with the bureaucracy and the perfection of laws," he said.
The city's appeal to foreign investment and firms is backed by policy support from the central and local governments, Liang Haiming, an economist based in Hong Kong said.
In 2015, the Qianhai-Shekou Free Trade Zone was launched in Shenzhen with preferential policies in finance and taxation.
In the first three quarters of this year, the actual use of foreign capital in the Qianhai-Shekou Free Trade Zone accounted for around 56 percent of the total use in the city, the statistics show.
In April, Shenzhen introduced multiple measures to appeal to foreign investment, including removing investment barriers, providing better services in financing and granting land to foreign firms.