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Reforms spur expansion in central and western regions
Last Updated: 2018-05-29 16:42 | China Daily
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Foreign direct investment into central and western China registered double-digit growth in the first four months of this year, as local authorities build a transparent and equal business environment for global companies to further tap into markets with vast potential.

The hefty expansion in these areas came as China has gone full steam ahead in further opening-up and simplifying procedures for foreign investors to start businesses.

"FDI into central and western China continued to grow between January and April," Gao Feng, spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce, said at a regular conference.

Specifically, the actual use of foreign capital in the central provinces hit 21.12 billion yuan ($3.3 billion), an increase of 47 percent year-on-year, while the figure in the west surged 20.6 percent year-on-year to 19.31 billion yuan, Gao said.

Both of the regional growth rates were higher than the country's growth rate of 0.1 percent in the same period, the data from the ministry showed.

The country's central region refers to Henan, Hubei and Hunan provinces, while the western part includes Shaanxi and Gansu provinces, the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and the Tibet autonomous region.

Xi'an in Shaanxi province has been speeding up efforts to build an improved business environment for foreign investors, said Yang Renhua, an official with the Xi'an High-Tech Industries Development Zone.

In March, South Korea-based Samsung Electronics Co began construction of its second semiconductor line in Xi'an. The new line, which has attracted investment of $7 billion, is expected to be completed next year.

In May, FESCO Adecco, a joint-venture human resources services company backed by the Fortune Global 500 company Adecco Group, set up a subsidiary in Xi'an.

Switzerland-headquartered Adecco is the world's largest human resources solutions provider.

Stephan Howeg, chief marketing and communications officer of Adecco, said the company received strong support from the local government when expanding in the Chinese market, as human resources is a pillar of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Wang Yie, president of homegrown FESCO Group, agreed: "We have benefited significantly from the local government's services, so that the joint venture can rapidly launch operations in the city." He said the company is fully prepared to attract more talented personnel and multinationals to the city.

The number of newly established foreign companies in Shaanxi province reached 69 in the first four months of 2018, up 23.2 percent from last year, according to the provincial department of commerce.

The actual use of capital in the province's service industry climbed 173 percent year-on-year to $684 million between January and April, which accounted for 68 percent of the province's total, according to the data.

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