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2015 Business Review V: Stable and Rapid Development of Foreign Investment and Cooperation

In 2015, in the face of complex and changeable situations at home and abroad, the foreign investment and cooperation maintained steady and rapid growth and it is expected to overfulfill the annual target of 10% growth. Highlights appeared in the construction of overseas economic and trade cooperation zones, infrastructure construction and foreign contracting projects along with significant increase in large-scale projects. China has begun to enter the stage of capital export and industrial export and provides strong support for "the Belt and Road" construction and international capacity cooperation.

Foreign investment maintained high double-digit growth. According to the statistics of the Ministry of Commerce, from January to November, domestic investors of China made non-financial direct investment in 5,985 overseas enterprises in 153 countries and regions worldwide and realized the accumulative foreign investment of USD104.13 billion, increasing by 16% on year-on-year basis. In November, direct investment of USD8.92 billion was provided currently, increasing by 12.6% on year-on-year basis.

Foreign contracting engineering projects expanded constantly in scale. From January to November, among China' new foreign contracting engineering projects, there were 590 projects with the contract amount of more than USD50 million for single one and USD134.54 billion in total, accounting for 82.5% of the total amount of newly-signed contracts; there were 342 projects with the contract amount of more than USD100 million, 40 more than last year. The foreign contracting engineering projects were mainly distributed in transport, building construction, electric power engineering, communications engineering, petrochemical industry and other fields.

Foreign investment in manufacturing industry remained strong growth. From January to November, the foreign investment from China's enterprises to the manufacturing industry was USD11.8 billion, up 95.4% on year-on-year basis, and mainly distributed in advanced manufacturing fields including automobile, special equipment, medicine, computer and communications devices, rubber and plastic products. In the first 11 months, the investment in equipment manufacturing industry was USD5.89 billion, up 117.3% on year-on-year basis.

The construction of overseas economic and trade cooperation zones progressed steadily. So far, there were 75 cooperation zones in total that are under construction promoted by China's enterprises and distributed in 34 countries. The 75 cooperation zones have promoted the total investment of nearly USD18 billion and attracted 1,141 enterprises (including 711 Chinese-funded holding enterprises) settled therein. 13 ones of the 75 cooperation zones have passed the confirmation examination of the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Finance.

The countries and regions along "the Belt and Road" became the hotspots of foreign investment and cooperation. From January to November 2015, Chinese enterprises invested directly in 49 countries along "the Belt and Road" with the total investment amount of USD14.01 billion, growing 35.3% on year-on-year basis. The investment mainly flowed to Singapore, Kazakhstan, Laos, Indonesia, Russia and Thailand, etc. Chinese enterprises signed 2,998 new contracts on foreign contracting engineering projects in 60 countries along "the Belt and Road" with the contract amount of USD71.63 billion, accounting for 43.9% of that of China's new foreign contracting engineering projects in the same period and growing 11.2% on year-on-year basis; the business volume completed was USD57.33 billion, accounting for 44.1% of the total volume in the same period and growing 6.4% on year-on-year basis.

The international capacity cooperation was propelled actively. At present, each country in the world has strong demands for developing its own economy, raising its industrial level and improving its infrastructure conditions, while China has advantages in various fields, such as railway, electric power, communications and infrastructure construction. China's advantages in industries and technologies are just complementary to those of relevant countries in resources and markets. In foreign contacts, many countries, particularly the developing ones, look forward to carrying out capacity cooperation with China. According to the statistics of the Ministry of Commerce, from January to November 2015, the accumulative foreign direct investment in manufacturing industry was USD11.8 billion, a 95.4% rise year on year. Specially, the foreign direct investment in equipment manufacturing industry was USD5.89 billion, a 117.3% rise year on year. Historical breakthroughs were achieved in high-end equipment export and construction projects, such as high-speed rail and nuclear power.

Focusing on the key work, such as deepening the reform, innovating systems, improving services, creating an environment and protecting rights and interests, the Ministry of Commerce achieved the stable and rapid development of foreign investment and cooperation by improving all policies and measures.

First, deepen the reform of management systems. The Ministry of Commerce kept promoting the reform of overseas investment management systems by implementing the decision of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on deepening the reform of economic systems, further facilitated the handling of filing and cancellation procedures for overseas investment by enterprises by issuing the Circular on Implementing the Paperless Administration over the Filing of and Simplifying Cancellation Procedures for Overseas Investment, improved the database of foreign contracting engineering projects by issuing the Interim Provisions on the Approval Opinions on the Handling of the Bidding (Bid Negotiation) of Foreign Contracting Engineering Projects for Enterprises by Business Institutions Stationed Abroad, enhanced the support for the construction of cooperation zones by issuing the Measures for the Assessment of Overseas Economic and Trade Cooperation Zones, guided 11 provinces, including Anhui and Sichuan, to further delegate the examination and approval authority for foreign labor service cooperative operation qualification to the competent commerce departments at the prefecture level and the printing and preparation of the Certificate for Overseas Labor Training to the competent commerce departments at the provincial level and issued the normative documents including the Circular on Continuing Completing the Work concerning the Management of Foreign Labor Service Cooperation, the Circular on Regulating the Management of Chinese Expatriates of Foreign Contracting Engineering Projects and the Template of Service Guidelines for Overseas Economic and Trade Cooperation Zones.

Second, enhance governmental public services. In order to enhance the country environment guidance for enterprises to launch foreign investment and cooperation, the Ministry of Commerce promulgated the Guidance for Foreign Investment and Cooperation with respect to Countries (Regions) (2015 Version) concerning 171 countries (regions), the 2015 Report on Development of China's Foreign Investment and Cooperation, the Statistical Bulletin of China's Foreign Direct Investment in 2014, and the 2015 Report on the Facilitation Condition of Investment and Operation Grouped by Countries, and formulated the Typical "Going-out" Cases and the 2014 Report on Investment and Operational Obstacles Grouped by Countries. The public service products above have been authoritative information channels for China's enterprises to know the investment and cooperation environment in each country of the world. The Ministry of Commerce also promulgated the Statistical Bulletin of China's Foreign Direct Investment in 2014 to improve the information service system for foreign investment and cooperation and establish the public "going-out" service platforms, promoted the establishment of the cooperative relationship between commercial associations and cooperation zones, made use of resources of commercial associations to assist cooperation zones in the promotion of foreign investment attraction, completed the training on foreign investment and cooperation policies, established the investment promotion platforms and strengthened the publicity and public opinion guidance.

Third, promote pragmatic bilateral cooperation. The Ministry of Commerce prepared the medium and long-term development planning in the foreign investment and cooperation field to promote the further development of economic and trade relationships between China and relevant countries; actively participated in the formulation of international rules and accelerated the promotion of the layout of free trade zones; promoted the foreign direct investment in key fields, such as agriculture and forestry; launched the transnational and trans-regional infrastructure cooperation with Africa, promoted enterprises to implement the construction of a group of major overseas projects in fields, such as high-speed rail, railway and nuclear power and steadily propelled the surrounding key connection and communication projects; and enhanced the cooperation between governments to promote the construction of overseas economic and trade cooperation zones and the group "going-out".

Fourth, strengthen the prevention and control of overseas risks. In order to strengthen risk evaluation and safety forewarning grouped by countries and issue the information of safety forewarning, since this year, the Ministry of Commerce has issued 33 risk forewarnings and hints on overseas safety; strengthened the safety management of overseas Chinese-funded enterprises, launched the major inspection on the production safety of overseas investment and cooperation; participated in the disposal of ten serious overseas emergency and safety incidents including the Yemen Evacuation and the Mali Terrorist Attack; and properly disposed of ten serious labor dispute incidents occurring in Angola and other countries in concert with relevant departments.

Fifth, promote the international capacity cooperation. The Ministry of Commerce, jointly with the National Development and Reform Commission, drafted and submitted the Guiding Opinions on Promoting the Cooperation in International Capacity and Equipment Manufacturing (the "Opinions") to the State Council for issuance. The Opinions focus on promoting the capacity cooperation in fields of electric power, rail transportation and zone construction and with key countries and regions and carrying forward the cooperation in equipment manufacturing and international capacity in the regions such as the Northeast China and Hebei Province.銆

2016 is the first year to implement the "13th Five-year Plan". The Ministry of Commerce will, jointly with relevant departments, keep focusing on raising the development quality and benefits, accelerate the cultivation of new advantages for participating in international economic cooperation competition and promote the stable and healthy development of foreign investment and cooperation.

Translated by Wang Baihua
Proofread by Eddiea

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