Vice-Premier Wu Yi raises a golden key symbolizing the opening of
the Seventh CIFIT yesterday in the coastal city of Xiamen, Fujian
By DUAN RUOLAN
It has taken a little less than a year but the long
awaited Seventh China International Fair for Trade and Investment
(CIFIT) opened in the port city of Xiamen in Southeast China¡¯s Fujian
The festival has attracted celebrated politicians and business people
from 58 countries and regions, said Ma Xiuhong, China¡¯s vicecommerce
minister, at the official opening ceremony for
the annual event.
Organized and sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce, the United
on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Association of Investment
Promotion Agencies and the Fujian Provincial Government, the Seventh
CIFIT had lured 9,050 participants from across all spheres from
94 countries and regions three days ahead of its opening.
The top location in terms of attracting foreign direct investment
in 2002, China is further expanding its co-operation with overseas
counterparts in economics and technology.
CIFIT is the perfect opportunity for ambitious attendees from around
the world to seek partnerships, meaning it plays an increasing important
role in introducing overseas investment
to the country.
According to statistics from the event¡¯s organizing committee, roughly
half of the small
and medium-sized foreign investment projects over the past few years
have been created due to CIFIT sessions.
By RUO LAN
For overseas participants,
the Seventh China International
Fair for Trade and Investment (CIFIT) is not only a platform
to find business opportunities, but a bridge to step into
a mysterious eastern country.
As a newcomer to CIFIT,
Swedish businessman Karlvilhelm Alexandersson, from
the Scandinavian financing and consulting company Mid Market Consulting
Group AB, has changed his reconceptions about China.
¡°It is amazing to see the beautiful and dynamic city of Xiamen with
its scenery being so similar to some European countries,¡± he said,
having trouble taking his eyes off the
ocean, which is about 100 metres from the Xiamen International Exhibition
Centre, where he was talking to Express.
¡°My target is to form a general opinion about the possibility of
investment in China,¡± he said.¡°From what I¡¯ve discovered, I think
the possibility is great as the country has very appealing characteristics.¡±According
to Alexandersson, China¡¯s enormous size and its huge market potential
are the guarantees for plenty of opportunities for overseas investors.
The Swede said before his trip, he, just like most westerners, had
a very limited knowledge about China except
for a couple of huge cities like Shanghai or Beijing.
¡°When I come here, I feel and see the opportunities,¡± Alexandersson
In the eyes of Panagoulas Konstantinos, president of the Greece-based
Konstantinos & Petros Panagoulas S.A., and his Manager Gousgounis
Thomas, CIFIT offers them a chance to meet their partners.
The company has a huge
amount of contact with China given it deals in lamps, wires, cables
By ZHANG FENG
Actual foreign direct investment (FDI) in China is expected to
total about US$57 billion in 2003, several billion more than last
year, a top inancial official said yesterday in East China¡¯s Fujian
After 25 years of relentless work to encourage FDI and improve the
investment environment, ¡°we now have a larger scope and a more optimized
structure of FDI and the quality of FDI in China is improving
continuously,¡± said Ma Xiuhong, vice-minister of commerce.
Ma made the remarks when delivering a speech at the International
Investment Forum 2003, which is part of the fourday- long China
International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) in the city
In 2002, China had US$52.7 billion in actual FDI, which surpassed
all other nations.
In the January-July period this year, China pproved the establishment
of 22,245 new foreign-funded firms, with contractual FDI totalling
US$59.2 billion and the actual inflow of FDI totalling US$33.4 billion,
increases of 19.13 per cent, 33.96 per cent and 26.63 percent, respectively,
same period last year.
To date, more than 400 of the world¡¯s top 500 companies have launched
operations in China, Ma said.
With its accession to World Trade Organization, China has seen a
quickly enlarged scope for investment and has further optimized
its FDI structure.
In 2002, the foreign-invested computer application service increased
by 125 per cent compared to the previous year, together with broadcasting
and television programming, which were up 50 per cent, the distribution
service, which strengthened 68 per cent and the transportation service,
which rose 58
China¡¯s market scope is also ranked among the top in the world.
It is expected that the total importation of goods will hit US$1,000
2003-05, Ma noted.
At the forum, which had a theme of ¡°For a Better Investment Environment
and Stronger Competitive Advantages,¡± Sergio Giroldi, CEO of the
OBI Group, said China is becoming a paradise for international investors
OBI¡¯s first year purchase volume in China in 1998 was 300 million
euros (US$250 million) and it has since seen double-digit growth.
¡°And we expect to achieve 1 billion euros (US$833 billion) in purchases
in three to four years,¡± Giroldi said.
Robert A. Kapp, president of the US-China Business Council, said
at the forum: ¡°From the standpoint of foreign investment, China
is already a success
story. However, China is still facing great challenges
coming from both itself and the
For example, the country¡¯sdomestic capital accumulation
and allocation systems are not developed enough.
Less FDI would be needed if China was better able to mobilize its
vast domestic savings and direct the resources to where they should
be going ¡ª to companies which are capable of expanding markets and
increasing employment ¡ª while remaining profitable on their own,
While encouraging FDI in China, China¡¯s policy of going
global has obtained good results, Ma added.
By the end of July this year, China had set up 7,222 non-financial
operating organizations in over 160 countries and regions outside