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China becomes largest destination for FDI

While global foreign direct investment (FDI) collapsed significantly in 2020, China's inbound FDI grew against the trend by 4 percent to $163 billion, indicating that the country surpassed the U.S. as the largest recipient of FDI in the world, according to the latest Investment Trends Monitor of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Data from China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) showed that the country's total volume, yearly increment, and global share of inbound FDI all climbed last year.

In particular, the country's actually used FDI totaled 999.98 billion yuan (about $152.9 billion) in 2020, up 6.2 percent from the previous year, while the paid-in FDI in China's non-financial sector grew by 4.5 percent year on year, ranking first in the world, according to the MOC, which also revealed that a total of 39,000 foreign-invested enterprises newly registered in China in 2020.

The continued growth in the amount of paid-in foreign investment in China against the trend of shrinking FDI worldwide has been accompanied by the country's constant efforts to open its door wider to the rest of the world.

"When economic globalization has been hindered by headwinds and protectionism and unilateralism are on the rise, China's notable growth in actual use of foreign investment has proven the huge attractiveness and growth potential of the Chinese market," said Cui Fan, a professor of the School of International Trade and Economics, University of International Business and Economics.

Such achievement is the result of the country's effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic and earnest implementation of relevant policies and measures, which sped up the restorative growth of the Chinese economy and made the country the world's only major economy that achieved positive growth amid the raging COVID-19 last year, Cui said.

Factors such as lower market access threshold for foreign investment and continuously improving business environment are closely related to China's achievements in attracting foreign investment and have signaled the country's resolve to unswervingly expand its opening-up during the new development stage.


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