QINGDAO, China, Oct. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Qingdao Multinationals Summit kicked off in Qingdao, Shandong province, China on October 19, 2019 at which the Report on Multinational Companies' 40-Year Investment in China ("the Report") produced by the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce was officially released. According to the Report, China attracted US$134.97 billion in foreign investment in 2018, becoming the world's second largest country in terms of this important economic indicator. By the end of 2018, China had become home to some 961,000 foreign-invested firms with investment from abroad totaling US$2.1 trillion, making it one of the largest host countries of foreign investment worldwide.
Consisting of four chapters, the Report systematically reviews the process by which multinational companies established themselves, developed and operated in the People's Republic for the past 40 years, summarizing their achievements in the country and their contributions to promoting the growth of the Chinese economy. One of the highlights is that their investment in China is one of the embodiments of the country's reform and opening-up policy.
According to the Report, 40 years ago when the country began to implement the policy, foreign firms, including multinational corporations, started expanding into China where they invested in and operated business, gradually increasing their investment in increments from trial efforts to large projects that represented a meaningful slice of their global business, then later upped the quality of their investments while expanding their scope from coastal to inland areas. Currently, foreign-invested firms play an critical and integral role in promoting Chinese economic development as they, although accounting for less than 3 per cent of all Chinese enterprises, contribute nearly half of the country's foreign trade, one quarter of the combined output value and profits of Chinese industrial companies each with annual revenue exceeding 20 million yuan (approx. US$2.8 million), one fifth of the country's tax revenue and about 13 per cent of total urban employment.
Over the past few years, the foreign investment environment in China has been continuously optimized as the Chinese government has attached great importance to it, demonstrating the country's determination in continuing to implement its opening-up policy and to actively lure more investment from abroad, said the Report. The new Foreign Investment Law that will be officially implemented beginning January 1, 2020 will provide a better legal system guarantee for foreign investment. In addition, the State Council has issued several important documents that introduce a number of measures to expand opening up and optimize the foreign investment environment.
Approved by the State Council and co-organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Shandong Province, the Multinational Enterprises and China-themed summit was attended by more than 500 guests, including representatives from multinational companies from 35 countries and regions worldwide, including 115 of the world's top 500 firms and 197 industry-leading businesses. The summit included 33 conferences comprising four plenary events and 29 smaller gatherings with a focus on the topics currently of most importance to the multinationals, giving them an opportunity to be heard, share their experiences and link their resources.