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Promoting Investments Government's Top Priority

With the country's new round of opening-up and its emphasis on investment promotion, Fujian province is planning an increased effort to attract overseas investors.After the State Council released a "notice on the measures for expanding opening-up and attracting foreign investment" in July last year, Fujian was among the first provinces to issue its own implementation measures.In addition to the provincial government, governments in cities including Fuzhou, Xiamen, Zhangzhou and Quanzhou have all rolled out new regulations for attracting overseas investors, according to local media reports.The provincial government of Fujian has cooperated with globally renowned research companies to assess the investment environment of local cities, with their rankings published in local media and on the official website of the Fujian provincial government, according to the Fujian Daily newspaper.The rankings can be used as a frame of reference for overseas investors to locate their investment destinations and force local governments to improve their business environment, officials told Fujian Daily.The provincial authorities are now using a new approach to investment promotion.While consolidating its traditional sources of investment in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, the province is also eyeing investors from Europe, the Americas and Japan, with a focus on companies on the Fortune Global 500 list.The authorities aim to guide global investment into Fujian's pillar industries, especially the top three sectors of electronic information, petrochemicals and advanced manufacturing.According to the Fujian Department of Commerce, the amount of overseas investments in the top three industries in 2017 grew 28 percent from the previous year. The investment into advanced manufacturing rose 38.2 percent from a year ago.Of the overseas-funded projects launched in 2017, there were 73 large ones, each with an investment of more than 500 million yuan ($72.61 million). The total agreed investment in these projects amounted to 55.63 billion yuan.Fujian's various industrial zones are the major destinations for overseas investments. These zones utilized 37.2 percent of the overseas investments that flowed into Fujian last year, an increase of 1.5 percentage points from 2016.The province's international investment and trade events such as the China International Fair for Investment and Trade - an expo that is held annually in Xiamen - have played an important role in attracting overseas investments.According to the organizers of the CIFIT, during the 2017 event, Fujian's businesses signed deals with overseas investors on 308 projects in the province, with agreed investment totaling $9.55 billion.

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