Low-end, labor-intensive and environmentally
unfriendly foreign direct investment will no longer dominate China's
investment landscape, as its primary engine of economic growth has
shifted from exports and investment to consumption and innovation,
business leaders said.
FDI into high-tech manufacturing fields including medical, electronic
and telecommunication equipment manufacturing maintained rapid growth
in the first four months of this year. The figure jumped 79.5 percent
year-on-year to 29.6 billion yuan ($4.65 billion), data from the
Ministry of Commerce show.
"The transformation comes after China decided to focus on the quality
and sustainability of its economic growth rather than quantity," said
Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice-chairman of the China Center for International
He said a green environment, stability, employment and the
improvement of people's living standards are the government's
In the past, foreign companies manufactured products in China and
shipped them to global markets. The situation has changed dramatically
as many multinationals want to sell in China, too. The country has
become the world's largest market that no company can overlook, Zhang
Shi Yong, vice-president of the China Machinery Industry Information
Research Institute in Beijing, said that technological innovation and
related services will be key investment areas for both domestic and
global companies over the next decade.
"China's global role has evolved from a low-cost manufacturer in the
late 1990s to the world's growth engine around 2010, and now an
unarguably global innovation engine, especially in areas such as
high-speed trains, electronics, large passenger jets and nuclear power
technologies," he said.
Denis Depoux, CEO for China of global consultancy Roland Berger, said
that, pushed by the fast development of the Belt and Road Initiative,
Chinese technologies are increasing their market share, but there is
also a significant share of international technologies and investment
deployed from China along the Belt and Road routes.
"In addition to Chinese markets, many foreign companies are also
shipping their products and solutions to countries and regions involved
in the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road,"
he said. "Chinese companies, primarily State-owned enterprises,
cooperate with foreign companies in third-party markets related to the
Global companies, including ABB Group, Otis Elevator Co, Siemens AG
and General Electric Co, have partnered with China's power,
infrastructure, transportation and energy companies to tap the
opportunities created by the Belt and Road Initiative, especially in
engineering, procurement and construction projects.
"Many of these opportunities come from many countries' surging demand
for public services, manufacturing and infrastructure projects,
especially in fast-growing economies such as Turkey, Poland and Qatar,"
said Claudio Facchin, president of ABB's power grids division.
Judy Marks, president of Otis, said the markets related to the Belt
and Road Initiative form an important platform for the group to enhance
its global earning ability, as it exports a significant amount of its
equipment manufactured in China to global markets. She said Shanghai is
home to Otis' high-rise contracts and logistics center, which is part of
its global major projects organization supporting its major high rise
and infrastructure projects around the world.
Supported by 15,000 employees including 7,500 mechanics, Otis
currently operates six factories, nearly 200 regional branch offices and
550 service depots throughout China.