China's competitive advantage in the global supply chain has not been shaken by the New virus and the country will remain a hot spot for foreign investment, commerce officials said on Friday.
The government will further cut items on the negative list of foreign investment access in the country and its 18 pilot free trade zones, said Zong Changqing, director-general of the department of foreign investment administration under the Ministry of Commerce.
The country will speed up the revision of the catalog of industries that foreign capital are encouraged to invest in and increase the number of items, he said.
Though the impact of the new virus on China's foreign trade cannot be ignored or underestimated, China has sufficient flexibility and room for creating new growth, as the ability of Chinese companies to innovate and diversify will not change in the long term, said Li Xingqian, director-general of the department of foreign trade under the Ministry of Commerce.
Foreign direct investment from nonfinancial sectors in the Chinese mainland－which have been affected by the epidemic, the extended Spring Festival and factory standstills－dropped by 8.6 percent year-on-year to 134 billion yuan ($19.4 billion) in the first two months of this year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
In the meantime, global capital flows into high-tech industries in the mainland rose 2.2 percent year-on-year to 41.5 billion yuan. Among them, FDI in pharmaceuticals rose 6.7 percent, medical equipment manufacturing jumped 139 percent, information services climbed 30.5 percent and e-commerce surged 449 percent year-on-year.
Li noted that the investment strategy and business confidence of most global companies have not changed in China, due to continued policy measures, orderly production resumption, and effective epidemic prevention and control measures.
The current global market performance has shown that China remains a favorable market for global investment.
After Costco Wholesale Corp announced in February that it will open its second warehouse store in Shanghai later this year, and Toyota Motor Corp's move to build a new electric vehicle plant in Tianjin with local partner FAW Group earlier this month, Starbucks announced on Friday it will invest about $130 million in Kunshan, Jiangsu province, to open a roasting facility in 2022, part of its new coffee innovation park to further strengthen the group's coffee supply in Asia.
The project is set to handle Starbucks' largest roasting capacity outside of the United States, including a plant, warehouse and distribution center.
The facility will set a blueprint for the future of coffee roasting and supply chains, and propel China's coffee industry to a whole new altitude, said Belinda Wong, chairman of Starbucks China.