China will more briskly introduce foreign investment, Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said Monday.
Addressing a meeting in Beijing, Zhong promised more efforts in the area this year, including propelling the development of free trade zones, pushing for reforms in foreign investment management, and improving the business environment.
Foreign direct investment on the Chinese mainland rose 4.1 percent year on year last year, mildly down from the 6.4-percent gain in 2015.
China has been loosening the grip on the inflow of foreign capital as part of efforts to facilitate its opening up, reducing restrictive measures and opening more sectors. In 2016, laws on foreign investment were amended, and measures were unveiled to simplify the approval procedure for foreign companies.
Zhong also hopes foreign-funded businesses will play a bigger role in boosting China's sluggish real economy.
Foreign companies generate nearly half of China's foreign trade, 20 percent of tax incomes and a seventh of urban jobs during the past four years, he said.
Zhong was appointed Commerce Minister, replacing Gao Hucheng, the top legislature said Friday.