NewsChina pledges equal treatment to lure foreign businesses amid investment slump

China pledges equal treatment to lure foreign businesses amid investment slump

China will open up to foreign companies
China will open up to foreign companies
Images source: © Getty Images | ZHUZHENQIANG
4:28 AM EDT, March 26, 2024
China has announced measures to ensure equal treatment for foreign and domestic companies in a bid to boost investment levels and attract more knowledgeable and experienced businesses, Reuters reports.
"We will provide guarantees of full equality, so more foreign firms can invest in China calmly and with confidence," declared Deputy Trade Minister Guo Tingting at the Chinese Development Forum in Beijing. However, the specifics of these guarantees were not detailed by the minister, Reuters notes.

China opens up to foreign companies

For years, foreign entrepreneurs have voiced concerns over unequal access to China’s expansive market, with various governments also raising concerns about Beijing's practices deemed as "economic coercion".

In reaction, several companies contemplated relocating parts of their operations outside China. This sentiment, among other factors, led to an 8 per cent decline in foreign direct investment in China last year.

"A significant percentage of our Chamber’s members complained about unequal treatment compared to local companies," the head of the European Chamber of Commerce in China, Jens Eskelund, told Reuters. He elaborated that this was evident in aspects like unequal access to government contracts and the market. "The sign of equal treatment will be when our members tell us they no longer face such obstacles," he stressed.

According to Reuters, geopolitical tensions, especially between Beijing and Washington, add another layer of discouragement for doing business in China.
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