With a population of more than 1.4 billion, China is increasingly playing an important and influential global role. Twenty years after joining the WTO, it has grown into the world's second largest economy, the No 1 trader in goods and the largest destination for foreign investment. Over the past 20 years, China has contributed an average of nearly 30 percent to global growth annually, and has been the major stabilizer and engine of world economic growth.
China achieved a better-than-expected recovery in 2020, despite facing complicated international situations, arduous tasks in seeking reform, development and stability at home and heavy blows from the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the National Economy and Social Development Statistical Bulletin 2020 released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), China's GDP increased by 2.3 percent year-on-year, reaching 101,598.6 billion yuan ($15,559.94 billion), making it the world's only major economy to attain positive growth. It's reassuring to the world that the country's economy has managed to maintain its steady pace and will continue to serve as a major engine for global economic expansion. Investment bank Morgan Stanley said in a report that China's GDP growth is expected to come in at 9 percent for 2021 and 5.8 percent for 2022.
Investing in China generates profits that grow apace with China's economy; foreign-invested enterprises' returns on investments in China are higher than the world average. China is the world's most promising consumer market with over 400 million middle-income people. With per capita GDP exceeding $10,000 last year, the country has entered an important stage of increased consumption.
With China leading the global economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country's mega market, optimized business environment, and status as the biggest trading partner of more than 120 countries and regions will continue to generate big dividends for global companies in the long run. A survey of 3,200 foreign-funded enterprises (April 2021) by the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) shows that 96.4 percent of them are optimistic about their business prospects in China.
In 2020, China's actual use of FDI surged 6.2 percent year-on-year to 999.98 billion yuan, a historic high. In US dollar terms, the foreign capital inflow went up by 4.5 percent year-on-year to $144.37 billion, the Ministry of Commerce announced. The structure of FDI also was improved. The country's service sector attracted 776.77 billion yuan of FDI in 2020, jumping 13.9 percent on a yearly basis and accounting for 77.7 percent of the country's total use of foreign investment. Annual FDI from the Netherlands grew by 47.6 percent, from the United Kingdom by 30.7 percent, and from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations by 0.7 percent.