File photo shows a view of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone at Pudong New Area in Shanghai, east China. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)
In a year when the pandemic continued to wreak havoc on the world economy, global investors have cast more votes of confidence on investing in China as the foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country hit a record high.
The FDI into the Chinese mainland, in actual use, expanded 14.9 percent year on year to a record high of 1.15 trillion yuan in 2021, the Ministry of Commerce said Thursday.
In U.S. dollar terms, the inflow went up 20.2 percent year on year to 173.48 billion dollars.
High-tech industries saw FDI inflows jump 17.1 percent from a year earlier, ministry spokesperson Shu Jueting told a press briefing.
Foreign investment in China's high-tech manufacturing and high-tech services industries rose 10.7 percent and 19.2 percent, year on year, respectively.
The robust growth came as China's long-term and sound economic fundamental, and constantly improving business environment retained an appeal to foreign capital, said Zhang Jianping, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the commerce ministry.
Last year, the total FDI inflow into the services sector increased 16.7 percent, year on year, to 906.49 billion yuan.
Investment in the Chinese mainland from countries along the Belt and Road and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations jumped 29.4 percent and 29 percent, respectively, data from the ministry shows.
China will further expand its high-level opening-up, enhance its services for foreign-funded firms and projects, and make more efforts to optimize the business environment in 2022, Shu said.
In late December, authorities unveiled two shortened negative lists for foreign investment, which have both taken effect since Jan. 1, 2022, as part of efforts to open up the economy more.
Off-limit items for foreign investors have been cut to 31 in the 2021 version of the negative list from 33 in the 2020 version, while the 2021 negative list for foreign investment in pilot free trade zones cut the number of items to 27 from 30.
This year, the ministry will make solid efforts to implement the negative lists and guide more foreign capital to invest in emerging fields, including advanced manufacturing, modern services, high-tech, energy conservation, environmental protection, and the digital economy, Shu said.