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Zhejiang boosts foreign investment efforts

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated :2024-03-28

Zhejiang will continue to ramp up efforts to enhance its business environment in order to attract more foreign investment and encourage privately owned businesses amid measures to promote local high-quality development, authorities said.

The province will continue to foster a favorable business environment while accelerating the formation of new mechanisms for trade, investment and cooperation, said Lu Shan, vice-governor of Zhejiang, during a news conference held on Wednesday by the State Council Information Office.

"We are committed to creating a first-class business environment characterized by marketization and internationalization, and based on the rule of law," he said. "Through regularly hosting roundtable meetings for foreign enterprises, we aim to address challenges in production and operation, ensuring smooth progress of foreign investment."

Wang Hao, governor of Zhejiang, said that in 2023, the total number of market entities in the province reached 10.4 million, while the total foreign trade volume amounted to 4.9 trillion yuan ($678 billion).

Zhejiang's export volume, totaling 3.57 trillion yuan, accounted for 15 percent of the national share, ranking among the leading provincial-level contributors to the growth of national imports and exports, he said.

The province's efforts have already won support from many big brands and companies.

Following Zhejiang's global investment promotion campaign, which aims to attract a group of high-quality and innovative foreign investment projects, Saudi Aramco — one of the world's largest oil exporters — signed a 24.6 billion yuan investment agreement with Rongsheng Petrochemical Co last year to further expand its presence in the province.

The deal represents the continued growth of Aramco's downstream presence in Zhejiang, as the oil giant eyes greater investment and cooperation opportunities amid China's high-quality development, Aramco said.

Li Shuirong, chairman of Rongsheng, said the agreement also signifies an important step forward in the Zhejiang-based company's internationalization strategy.

Wang Lining, director of the oil market department of the Economics and Technology Research Institute of China National Petroleum Corp, said the nation has been encouraging participation of foreign companies in the refining sector and has attracted investment by several such companies over the past few years.

Large domestic private enterprises, including Rongsheng, have played a key role in China's advanced refining capacity in recent years, he said.

Wang Hao said that while Zhe­jiang looks forward to more foreign investment through continuous policy measures, it will also continuously foster a favorable business environment and maintain the sustainable growth of privately or individually owned businesses in the province.

"We will vigorously promote innovation and deepen reforms, in order to inject new vitality into the regional economy and create more new business opportunities," he added.