Zhejiang sees growth in foreign investment in Q1
Zhejiang province saw growth in foreign investment in the first quarter of this year, at a time when most places in China are seeing a drop due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
Statistics from the provincial department of commerce show that 539 foreign-funded companies were established in Zhejiang in Q1, bringing in 27.1 billion yuan ($3.83 billion) in foreign investment, up 0.3 percent year-on-year and accounting for one eighth of the national total during this period.
Seven cities in the province saw an increase in foreign investment, with Zhoushan, Taizhou, and Jinhua seeing increases of more than 100 percent. Hangzhou, Ningbo, Jiaxing, and Huzhou were responsible for 86.5 percent of the province's total inflow of foreign investment.
Additional investment in already existing foreign projects was a major driver behind the growth. Statistics show that more than one third of foreign investment in the province in Q1 was directed toward such projects.
"The complete industrial chain and huge market potential of Zhejiang are very attractive to foreign investors," said Liu Wuhong, director of the foreign fund division of the commerce department of Jiaxing.
Liu added that the US-based food manufacturer Cargill invested $100 million in a food project in Pinghu, a county-level city in Jiaxing.
The province has taken advantage of its international industrial parks and attracted $10.85 billion yuan in investment from 22 companies which mainly involved in intelligent cars, business services, and new energies.
Twelve foreign companies set up shop in the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone in Zhoushan in Q1, bringing with them $145 million in foreign investment.
"The pandemic will continue to pose a threat to our foreign investment in the second quarter," said Lu Jun, deputy director of the foreign fund division of the province's commerce department.
Lu said the province will deal with the situation by improving its business climate and introducing new ways of attracting investment, including the establishment of online channels.
As of March 25, 74 foreign project deals worth $6.21 billion had been signed online in Zhejiang.