China’s economy has rebounded, foreign investment encouraged – Communist party
By Fareeza Haniff in Beijing
Despite major setbacks as a result of the pandemic, China’s economy rebounded in a “short period” and more efforts will be made to encourage foreign investment.
This is according to Zhao Chenxin, member of the Party group and Deputy Director of the Development and Reform Commission of the Communist Party.
When asked by a Reuters journalist about China’s inability to achieve its economic target growth of 5.5 per cent this year because of its “Zero COVID” policy, Zhao told a news conference on Monday that although the country’s economy has fluctuated on a monthly basis, it continues to recover.
“With solid progress in effectively coordinating COVID-19 prevention and control and economic and social development, the package of policies to stabilize the economy continued to be vigorously pursued and continued policies were resolutely introduced. Major economic indicators such as industry, services, investment, and consumption continued to recover, and the overall trend of recovery and development was maintained,” Zhao said.
China’s ambitious plan to record zero COVID-19 cases has resulted in the lockdown of many cities, including Shanghai – the main business hub of the country. This has dealt a harsh blow to the economy and many analysts have adjusted the forecast economic growth this year to about three per cent.
But Zhao dismissed this notion, highlighting that China’s economy rebounded “significantly in the third quarter.”
“Globally, China’s economy is still performing well. Consumer prices have risen modestly, in sharp contrast to the high level of global inflation. The employment situation is generally stable, the balance of international payments is basically balanced, and the foreign exchange reserves are above US$3 trillion. From the perspective of multiple economic indicators, the performance of our economy is still outstanding.”
While admitting that there are challenges in managing the economy, the Chinese official said the country is full of opportunities.
“China has a population of more than 1.4 billion and the largest middle-income group in the world, and it enjoys an advantage in a super-large market. Coupled with the complete industrial system, complete industrial chain, and increasingly modern infrastructure system, these basic conditions provide huge opportunities and broad market space for the development of all types of enterprises.”
Foreign investment encouraged
When asked about China’s plan to encourage foreign investment especially since its COVID policy has also made it difficult to travel to the country, Zhao said the government will be more proactive in publicising relevant policies and measures to foreign enterprises and build platforms for investment cooperation.
“We will continue to improve the business environment, implement the system of pre-establishment national treatment plus negative list management, and work with relevant departments and local governments to provide more convenience for international investment exchanges and cooperation on the premise of effective prevention and control in COVID-19 epidemic.”
The official further noted that the government will launch the sixth batch of major foreign investment projects, and support policies on industrial planning, and land use.
“We will coordinate and solve the difficulties encountered in the process of investment, production and operation of foreign-funded projects in a timely manner to ensure the smooth implementation of the projects.”
He said the government will increase support for foreign investment in advanced manufacturing, modern service industries, high and new technology, energy conservation and environmental protection, as well as in the central and western regions and northeast China.
Zhao acknowledged that China has overcome “multiple difficulties” in attracting foreign investment including repeated delays in the global epidemic and weak cross-border investment.
He said from January to August this year, China utilized 892.74 billion yuan of foreign investment, a year-on-year increase of 16.4 per cent.
Among them, foreign capital in high-tech industries increased by 33.6 per cent year-on-year, and the eastern, central and western regions increased by 14.3 per cent, 27.6 per cent and 43 per cent respectively.