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China says foreign firms welcome to move into its development zones

BEIJING (Reuters) - China said it welcomes international companies to shift production to its economic development zones, which have been encouraged to actively seek foreign investment, a statement on the cabinet website said on Monday.

The statement comes as President Donald Trump pushes for United State companies to increase production at home to boost job opportunities for Americans.

China's development zones, introduced during its reform and opening-up period more than 30 years ago, have been an integral part of the country's industrialization, urbanization and internationalization, the statement said.

Companies operating within these zones will be able to raise money from overseas through bonds and loans. It also said special customs concessions will be rolled out to help attract investors from overseas.

In a separate statement on Monday, the central planning agency said China needs to reform its development zones as it currently faces an oversupply of poorly designed ones that have competed in unproductive ways and failed to innovate.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) to China in 2016 increased 4.1 percent to 813.22 billion yuan ($118.5 billion) from a year earlier.

Last month, China's cabinet issued new measures to further open to foreign investment, as the world's second largest economy grapples with slowing growth.

(Reporting by Sue-Lin Wong; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

 

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