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China Daily| Updated: November 29, 2022 L M S


Visitors view a presentation at German agricultural and healthcare group Bayer AG's exhibition stand during the fifth CIIE on Nov 6. ZHU XINGXIN/CHINA DAILY

According to Zhang Wei, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, industries like high-tech, modern services and environmental protection in China will likely create more development opportunities for foreign investors, as they have been prioritized in the country's development strategies.

On the other hand, foreign investment can play a better role in China's technological advancement and green and low-carbon development, she said.

Recent data from the Ministry of Commerce have showed pickup in FDI flowing into high-tech industries. Foreign investors are eager to tap opportunities arising from China's accelerated implementation of its innovation-driven development strategy.

In the January-October period, FDI rose nearly 32 percent year-on-year. Foreign investment in high-tech manufacturing rose 57.2 percent, while it surged 25 percent in the high-tech services sector.

Such surges are attributable to companies such as Japanese industrial automation giant Omron.

By hiring more than 8,800 employees in China, Omron has reinforced its confidence in the country's future prospects. Outside of Japan, Omron now has the largest number of employees in China.

The company is building a new healthcare product R&D and production center in Dalian, Liaoning province. The new facility is expected to be completed in 2023, with a total investment of 320 million yuan.

The company has established five regional headquarters in China to build a highly efficient corporate operation network, with the latest one set up in Dalian in October last year. The others are in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen in Guangdong province and Hong Kong.

"In China, Omron will combine the corporate strategies with China's status as a world manufacturing powerhouse, a populous country and a large agricultural country," said Xu Jian, president and CEO of Omron China Co Ltd.

"We will focus on developing and introducing cross-field applications of technologies like remote sensing and big data to promote intelligent and digital technologies and solutions, and therefore better meet demand from the digital transformation of the manufacturing and healthcare sectors and the modernization of agriculture in China," she said.

Merck China Healthcare also said China already ranks among the first-tier countries for its global new drug clinical development and market registration plans, as the Chinese government ramps up efforts to encourage innovation.

"China has a key position in our global network to develop innovative drugs and provide innovative healthcare solutions to more patients," said Vivian Zhang, general manager of Merck China Healthcare.

The company's continuous investment in China makes it highly integrated with China's local industrial and supply chains, she said, adding Merck is currently developing new healthcare solutions and innovative payment methods with local partners for chronic disease management.

Experts also said that although local labor costs have increased, China still has relatively strong competitiveness in labor-intensive industries, thanks to its low combined cost of production factors, complete industrial chains and improving business environment.

According to the UBS report, while labor-intensive sectors like footwear have been relocating to other markets in the neighboring regions, especially Southeast Asian countries, in the past decade, China remained the world's largest shoe-making country in 2021.

When it comes to the midstream of the production chain and intermediate goods, China is irreplaceable with its comprehensive and large-scale manufacturing chain, the report said.

Jeff Ma, executive vice-president of the Greater China and Asia New Markets at The Woolmark Company, said China is one of the company's most important markets in global trade and supply chain.

"With Chinese companies' ongoing evolution and developments in technology and innovation, and given Chinese fashion brands' and designers' sustained impressive performance on the international stage, we believe that China has the potential to become the leading powerhouse for the world's wool fashion," he said.

The company has established a number of wool R&D units and education centers with Chinese enterprises and institutions.

Three Chinese wool textile manufacturers — Jiangsu Sunshine Group, Shandong Nanshan Fashion Sci-Tech Co Ltd and Shandong Ruyi Technology Group Co Ltd — have been awarded the Woolmark Gold certification this year, in recognition of their outstanding contributions in the field of worsted wool fabric production. Only well-known British and Italian companies have won the honor before, Ma said.

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