XIAMEN: Attracting more foreign
direct investment (FDI) will play a significant
role in upgrading China's competitiveness.
That was the consensus reached
by officials and industry insiders yesterday
at the ongoing Sixth China International Fair
for Trade and Investment (CIFTI).
"FDI has become an important
force for economic globalization," said
State Councillor Wu Yi in a letter to the 2002
International Investment Forum held here yesterday
dubbed, "FDI: To create international competition."
Wu also stated that China will
continue to adopt coherent and stable foreign
"We will work more actively
to improve our business environment to attract
more foreign investment," pledged Shi Guangsheng,
head of Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic
He said strenuous efforts have
been made to reduce tariff levels, demolish
non-tariff barriers, rectify the legal system
and standardize market order to create an open,
transparent market environment.
MOFTEC figures revealed that
China had attracted US$424.77 billion in actual
utilized foreign investment by the end of July
Contracted foreign investment
stood at US$799.65 billion, and a total of 408,551
foreign invested firms were set up.
Some experts even suggested China
could attract as much as US$100 billion annually
in foreign investment by 2005.
"We will not only attract
foreign investors, but also encourage Chinese
enterprises to take an active part in international
competition and co-operation," Shi said.
"It is inevitable that we
should go out and seek co-operation to upgrade
China's foreign trade ranked sixth in the world
with its volume reaching US$510 billion. Foreign
reserves topped US$246.5 billion by the end
Manufacturers were increasingly
moving to China from other Asian countries to
take advantage of its cheap labour and business
"But China must constantly
drive forward the process of modernization,"
said Lord Charles Powell, president of the China-Britain
Several key factors should be
guaranteed if China wants more foreign capital
such as the gradually lifting of related restrictions
on foreign investor ownership, protection of
intellectual property rights, banking and insurance
reform, and the liberalization of distribution.
Christopher Galvin, Motorola
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said:
"Abuse of intellectual property is just
as detrimental to the growth of China's domestic
companies and their innovation and creativity
as it is to those foreign companies that wish
to establish a business in China."
Percy Weatherall, managing director of Jardine
Matheson Holdings, said: "I believe that
encouraging further FDI in the service sector
will bring huge benefits to the Chinese economy
as it moves swiftly forward."
China is in increasing need of
software which the service industry provides,