The government will further utilize the roundtable meeting mechanism involving foreign companies and business associations to enhance support for their operations in China, a senior commerce ministry official said on Friday.
During his meeting with the representatives of multinational corporations and foreign business chambers, including the American Chamber of Commerce in China and the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, Chen Chunjiang, assistant minister of commerce, emphasized that the Chinese government considers attracting foreign investment a top priority and is dedicated to creating a fair, transparent and predictable business environment for global investors.
The meeting, which was held in Beijing, centered on addressing the concerns raised by foreign businesses, particularly those over cross-border data flows, export controls and China's Counterespionage Law, according to an online statement released by the Commerce Ministry.
Chen said his ministry will work with the government branches concerned to intensify efforts to promote and interpret policies effectively. The aim is to enhance support services and create a high-quality business environment for foreign companies operating in China.
To encourage foreign companies to play a bigger role in the Chinese market, senior commerce ministry officials have held a number of roundtable conferences and meetings with top corporate executives and heads of foreign business associations from Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore and the United States this year.
They also said foreign companies could expect more growth opportunities as China is advancing Chinese modernization in an all-round manner and unswervingly pushing forward high-standard opening-up.
These institutional arrangements for roundtables and regular meetings are certain to further expand the channels for gathering feedback on operational difficulties and other suggestions from foreign companies, which would help address their concerns in a timely way, besides facilitating their stable development in China, said Zhu Bing, director-general of the foreign investment administration department at the Commerce Ministry.
The ministry has held 17 such meetings and seminars for foreign-funded enterprises and made coordinated efforts to solve their problems over the past three years, according to information it released earlier this month.
To keep pace with China's fast-growing market, French multinational Schneider Electric SE has been stepping up its efforts to increase investment in the country.
Schneider Electric announced earlier this week that the third phase of a factory owned by its subsidiary — Schneider Shanghai Power Distribution Electrical Apparatus Co Ltd — was completed. This new digital and automated "zero-carbon plant" will be the group's largest air circuit breaker production base in the world.
"This is another testimony to our confidence in China," said Yin Zheng, Schneider Electric's executive vice-president, China and East Asia Operations, adding the company will keep investing in both innovation and supply chains in China.
Similar views were shared by Thomas Pauer, president of Bosch's Powertrain Solutions division, a business unit of German industrial and technology group Robert Bosch GmbH. He said the company fully supports the Chinese market and its automotive sector, and a new plant for hydrogen power modules in Chongqing is expected to open this year to further enhance production capacity.
China is already a leading market for commercial cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells, which will grow at the fastest rate in terms of volume, he noted.