Mars and FAW-Volkswagen inject fresh investment in Tianjin

A glance at a production line of FAW-Volkswagen in Tianjin. [Photo provided to]

A substantial surge in foreign investment in the coastal city of Tianjin reflects the confidence of multinational corporations in investing in China.

On May 15, US-based pet food company Mars and the Sino-German joint venture FAW-Volkswagen announced new capital injections of up to 3.3 billion yuan ($456.3 million), flocking to the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area, a pivotal zone within the Binhai New Area.

On that day, Mars, the global pet care giant, inaugurated operations at its new Tianjin pet food factory, which involved an investment of $137 million.

Besides, FAW-Volkswagen signed an agreement with the administrative committee of TEDA to invest over 2.3 billion yuan to introduce three SUV models at the FAW-Volkswagen Tianjin Plant.

The production line for these models is expected to be operational by 2026.

AIM Congress 2024 kicks off in Abu Dhabi

AIM Congress 2024, a premier global investment platform, kicked off today in Abu Dhabi under the theme “Adapting to a Shifting Investment Landscape: Harnessing New Potential for Global Economic Development”.

Set to take place until 9th May, AIM Congress 2024 boasts an impressive lineup of participants, including over 100 ministers, city mayors and central bank governors; 900 speakers; 11 global stock markets; 50 unicorn companies; and more than 12,000 delegates representing 175 countries worldwide. They will participate in 27 joint events organised in cooperation with more than 330 local, regional, and international partners.

AIM Congress is an initiative of the AIM Global Foundation and is organised with the support of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.

The current edition of the summit, held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), offers numerous opportunities for investors, businessmen, and investment companies from around the world to network and explore specialised investment projects across various sectors, featuring 450 dialogue sessions and seven high-level roundtable meetings.

China’s actual use of foreign capital in Q1 remains at historically high level, defying West’s ‘foreign capital withdrawal’ rhetoric

A view of the skyline of Lujiazui in Shanghai on January 24, 2024 Photo: VCG

A view of the skyline of Lujiazui in Shanghai on January 24, 2024 Photo: VCG

China’s actual use of foreign capital in the first quarter of this year remained at a historically high level, an official with China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said at a press conference held by the State Council Information Office on Friday, defying claims by some Western media that foreign capital is withdrawing from China.

The country’s continuous opening-up, supportive policies and industry upgrade are among the key drivers for more foreign capital, officials and experts said.

Friday’s data also reflect the fact that the world’s second largest economy continues to be attractive to foreign businesses, despite the West’s intensified attempts at “decoupling” or de-risking.

Speaking at Friday’s press conference, Guo Tingting, vice commerce minister said that the number of newly established foreign-invested enterprises in the first quarter of this year came at 12,000, an increase of 20.7 percent, maintaining the rapid growth trend from last year.

In terms of investment scale, the actual use of foreign capital reached 301.67 billion yuan ($41.67 billion), which was still at a historically high level, the vice minister said.

It is noteworthy that in terms of investment structure, the proportion of investment in high-tech manufacturing reached 12.5 percent during this period, an increase of 2.2 percentage points year-on-year, according to Guo.

Investment in the service industry, which is closely related to residents’ lives, also witnessed rapid growth.

The growth was driven by multiple factors, particularly China’s continuous opening-up efforts, improved market environment and industry upgrade, officials and experts said.

For example, the “Invest in China” series of activities as part of the government’s opening-up effort has received an enthusiastic response. The first landmark event alone attracted more than 140 representatives of foreign companies and business associations from 17 countries and regions, according to the MOFCOM official on Friday.

The continuous optimization of China’s business environment for foreign enterprises allows more of them to participate more fully in China’s development and gives them a sense of achievement, Bai Ming, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Friday.

Although there is foreign capital moving out of China, Bai said it is a part of capital market development. “Foreign investment comes and goes, much like the continuous flow of international capital markets, but the structure is constantly optimizing,” Bai said. 

As China pursues industry upgrades for high-quality development, many foreign investments, especially those with advanced technology, choose to expand their investments and outlays in China, experts said, defying some Western rhetoric that there is a trend of foreign capital leaving the country.

In the first quarter, the actual use of foreign investment in the manufacturing industry reached 81.06 billion yuan, of which investment in high-tech manufacturing reached 37.76 billion yuan, Ji Xiaofeng, an official with the department of foreign investment management under MOFCOM, told the press conference on Friday.

Data from some leading international consultancies also pointed to the positive trend.

The 2024 Kearney FDI Confidence Index released by American global management consulting firm Kearney shows China jumping from 7th position to 3rd, which shows that multinational companies will continue to expand their investment in China.

In the first quarter, China’s GDP grew 5.3 percent, which was well above market expectations, as the country got off to a robust start, laying the foundation for achieving its goal of growing by around 5 percent for the whole year.

As the trend of China’s economic development is further consolidated, foreign companies see new opportunities for growth in areas such as green transformation and digitalization.

Meanwhile, more policy support is also in place to boost foreign investment.

On Friday, MOFCOM, together with nine other government departments, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the China Securities Regulatory Commission, issued 16 specific measures to further support overseas institutions’ investment in domestic technology-based enterprises.

These measures include implementing differentiated supervision, supporting bond issuance and facilitating personnel exchanges.

On the same day, China’s top securities regulator issued 16 measures to boost capital markets’ support for high-tech companies, including setting up green channels for fundraising, in a bid to boost innovation and development of new quality productive forces.

In March, China’s State Council, the cabinet, issued an action plan comprising 24 specific pro-foreign investment measures to attract foreign investment, facilitate data flows and business travel. The action plan demonstrates the Chinese government’s determination and efforts to attract foreign investment, which plays a positive role in further promoting high-level opening-up, experts said.

Looking ahead, Ji said that MOFCOM is further easing barriers to foreign investment, including reasonably reducing the negative list for foreign investment access, comprehensively abolishing access restrictions in the manufacturing sector, and relaxing market access in the medical, telecommunications and other service industries.

IDC: China’s GenAI sector investment surges, projected to reach $13 billion by 2027

AI Photo: VCG

AI Photo: VCG

Driven by rapid technological advancement, China is expected to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 86.2 percent for generative artificial intelligence (AI) investment between 2022 and 2027, according to a newly released report from Research firm IDC, showcasing the robust prospects of the country’s high-tech sector.

Thanks to the government’s rising efforts to accelerate high-quality development, China’s generative AI spending is set to reach 33 percent of the world’s AI investment by 2027, up from 4.6 percent in 2022 with the generative AI investments probably reaching $13 billion, according to the report.

China’s performance is outstanding amid overall global growth in the industry, which is projected to reach $512.42 billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 31.1 percent, IDC forecasted in its Worldwide Artificial Intelligence Spending Guide.

The report also underscored China’s leading position in AI investment within the Asia-Pacific region, surpassing half of the total investment in the region. As of 2027, China`s AI investment is set to exceed $40 billion, representing a CAGR of 25.6 percent. 

Generative AI is poised to become a pivotal technology in enterprise automation. Banking, retail, software, and information services are cited as the top three spenders driving its innovation and growth, collectively constituting nearly a third of the market, according to the report.

Since 2014, China’s AI development has been accelerating, driven by the surging application demand within the domestic market. According to an official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), China’s AI industry output value reached 580 billion yuan ($80.23 billion) in 2023, up 18 percent year-on-year. The number of major AI-related enterprises has exceeded 4,400, ranking second in the world.

China’s AI development has been rising rapidly amid the government’s ramped-up efforts to develop new quality productive forces. The country has announced a slew of plans to enhance industrial innovation, and accelerate AI-driven manufacturing, led by large language models, to speed up the establishment of a modern industrial system, an official from MIIT said recently.

Global Times