(Bloomberg) – China will develop an action plan to attract foreign investment, economic officials said Monday, without providing details on when the plan would be announced or what it would contain.
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According to Meng Wei, director of the Legal Department of the National Development and Reform Commission, the Chinese government plans to promote the introduction of an action plan to attract foreign investment. Speaking at a press conference in the capital, the prime minister said the country would continue to reduce the negative list, which restricts the sectors in which foreign companies can invest, and also remove curbs on foreign investment in manufacturing.
These statements reiterate promises Beijing has made since at least mid-2023, including when President Xi Jinping spoke in the United States and promised “heart-warming” measures to attract foreign investors. In a separate press conference last month, Commerce Minister Wang Wentao emphasized how much progress the government has made in improving the business environment and listening to foreign companies' complaints, and another Commerce Department official said the same today. I repeated the comment.
So far, these promises have not appeared to have had much of an impact, with new investment falling in most months last year and many overseas companies feeling pessimistic about their outlook. A recent survey found that while U.S. companies are now more optimistic than last year, nearly half said they had no plans to increase investment this year.
–With assistance from Yujing Liu.
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