The first quarter of this year saw a significant increase in China's foreign capital utilization, with 5,309 foreign-funded enterprises approved, up 23 percent on last year's same period. These enterprises involve US$15.993 billion of committed foreign investment, with US$7.978 billion paid in, up 44.3 percent and 11.7 percent respec-tively.
According to statistics, by last March, a total of 369,700 foreign-funded enterprises had been approved nationwide, with committed and paid-in foreign investment reaching US$692.7 billion and US$356.6 billion respectively.
China's 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-05) sets new objectives and requirements for foreign capital utilization. Focusing on the strategic readjustment of the economic structure, the government will formulate guiding policies for foreign capital utilization and revise the Industrial Catalog Guiding Foreign Investment. At present, China has further relaxed its policies on foreign investment. Three laws concerning foreign capital introduction have been revised and have gone into effect upon the ratification of the National People's Congress. Related rules for implementation will also be revised. The Chinese Government will continue to optimize the industrial structure for foreign investment, and encourage foreign investors, particularly transnational companies, to participate in the reorganization and restructuring of State-owned enterprises, invest in new and high-tech industries, promote the cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises, and develop auxiliary industries in China. The country will expand the scope and area of foreign investment, gradually open such sectors as commerce, foreign trade, banking, insurance, securities, telecommunications, tourism and intermediate service, develop the advantages of special economic zones, the Pudong New Area in Shanghai and other costal areas, enhance the foreign capital utilization level, and particularly encourage foreign investment in central and western regions. Meanwhile, the government pledges to constantly improve the country's investment environment and protect the legitimate rights and interests of all investment parties and foreign-funded enterprises.