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MOFCOM Regular Press Conference (November 17, 2022)

Shu Jueting: Members of the press, good afternoon. To start with, I have three announcements to make.

First, on China’s FDI utilization from January to October this year

From January to October 2022, the paid-in FDI in China reached RMB1,089.86 billion, a year-on-year increase of 14.4% (same below), equivalent to USD168.34 billion, up by 17.4%.

In terms of industry, the paid-in FDI for services was RMB798.84 billion, up by 4.8%. The paid-in FDI for high-tech industries grew by 31.7%. In breakdown, the paid-in FDI for high-tech manufacturing and services increased by 57.2% and 25% respectively.

In terms of the source of FDI, the paid-in FDI from Korea, Germany, the United Kingdom and Japan rose by 106.2%, 95.8%, 40.1% and 36.8% respectively (including investment via free ports).

In terms of regional distribution, the paid-in FDI in eastern, central and western China increased by 12.4%, 33.6% and 26.9% respectively.

Second, on China’s outward investment and cooperation from January to October this year

In the first ten months of 2022, China’s non-financial outward direct investment increased 10.3% year-on-year to RMB627.4 billion (equivalent to USD94.36 billion, up by 7.3% year-on-year). In breakdown, the investment in leasing and commercial services grew by 22.2% year-on-year to USD32.08 billion. The investment in manufacturing, wholesale and retail, construction and other areas also increased. Non-financial direct investment in BRI countries reached USD17.25 billion, a year-on-year increase of 6.7%, accounting for 18.3% of the total.

From January to October, the turnover of foreign contracted projects was RMB790.99 billion, up 5.8% year-on-year (equivalent to USD118.96 billion, up by 2.9% year-on-year). The value of newly signed contracts amounted to RMB1,095.52 billion, down by 1.8% year-on-year (equivalent to USD164.76 billion, down by 4.5% year-on-year). The turnover of contracted projects and the total value of the newly signed contracts with BRI countries stood at USD64.17billion and USD85.29 billion respectively, accounting for 53.9% and 51.8% of the total.

3. China’s outsourcing sector, January-October 2022

From January to October 2022, services outsourcing contracts undertaken and performed by Chinese enterprises valued at RMB1535.3 billion and RMB1055.5 billion, up 14.4% and 13.3% from 2021. Offshore outsourcing contracts undertaken and performed by Chinese enterprises were worth RMB875.7 billion and RMB617.0 billion, up 14.6% and 11.1% from 2021. (In US dollar terms, from January to October, the value of services outsourcing contracts undertaken and performed by Chinese enterprises were US$236.0 billion and US$162.1 billion, up 17.0% and 15.6% year-on-year respectively. Offshore outsourcing contracts undertaken and performed by Chinese enterprises were worth US$134.8 billion and US$94.8 billion, up 16.8% and 13.3% year-on-year respectively.)

Composition-wise, from January to October, offshore information technology outsourcing (ITO), business process outsourcing (BPO) and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) performed by Chinese enterprises were worth RMB267.9 billion, RMB102.5 billion and RMB246.5 billion, up 4.6%, 16.4% and 16.7% year-on-year.

Domestically, from January to October, offshore outsourcing contracts undertaken and performed in the 37 outsourcing demonstration cities valued at RMB784.6 billion and RMB555.3 billion, up 15.3% and 11.0% year-on-year and accounting for 86.6% and 90.0% of the national total respectively. The value of offshore outsourcing contracts undertaken and performed in the Yangtze River Delta grew by 17.6% and 14.7% year-on-year to RMB 422.8 billion and 316.5 billion respectively, accounting for 48.3% and 51.3% of the national total.

Internationally, from January to October, the value of performed offshore outsourcing contracts from the U.S., Hong Kong, China and the EU registered RMB 136.2 billion, RMB122.5 billion and RMB80.5 billion, up 10.5%, 18.7% and 19.6% respectively. Together, they accounted for 55.0% of the national total. The value of performed offshore outsourcing contracts from RCEP participating countries reached RMB146.3 billion, up 7.5% year-on-year and accounting for 23.7% of the national total.

By the type of businesses, from January to October, the value of offshore outsourcing contracts performed by the private sector was RMB189.5 billion, accounting for 30.7% of the national total and growing by 26.2% year-on-year, 15.1 percentage points faster than the national average. Foreign-invested enterprises performed RMB275.4 billion worth of offshore outsourcing contracts, accounting for 44.6% of the national total and increasing by 11.2% year-on-year.

In terms of job creation, by the end of October 2022, China’s outsourcing sector has created 14.67 million jobs. 9.45 million outsourcing workers, 64.4% of the total, received college education or above. From January to October, the outsourcing sector created 710,000 jobs, of which 66.5% of the workers, or 470,000, received college education or above.

Shu Jueting: That concludes my announcements. Next, I would like to take your questions. The floor is open.

MNI: This week, the Chinese and U.S. presidents met and agreed that their financial teams will continue dialogue and coordination on trade and economic issues. What are the specific areas of dialogue and coordination? In addition, is the growth of China’s export to the U.S. expected to pick up, as it is significantly slowing down recently and has dampened the overall performance?

On the afternoon of November 14 local time, President Xi Jinping had a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in Bali, Indonesia. The meeting charters the course for China-U.S. relationship and bilateral trade and economic relations in particular. The two presidents agreed their financial teams will continue dialogue and coordination on macroeconomic policies, economic ties and trade. We will implement the important consensus of the two presidents. We will keep you updated if there is any information.

On your second question: From January to October this year, China-U.S. trade in goods reached US$639.83 billion, a year-on-year increase of 5.1%. China’s export to the U.S. grew by 6.6%. China-U.S. economic ties feature strong complementarity and deep integration. Sound and stable China-U.S. trade and economic cooperation is beneficial not only for China and the U.S., but also for the rest of the world. The two sides should work together to create favorable atmosphere and conditions for trade and economic cooperation. Thank you.

National Business Daily: A few days ago, Premier Li Keqiang attended the leaders' meetings on East Asia cooperation and paid an official visit to Cambodia. What economic and trade cooperation outcomes did China and ASEAN reach during the visit? Moving forward, how can China-ASEAN economic and trade cooperation open a new chapter?

Shu Jueting: From November 11 to 13, Premier Li Keqiang attended the leaders' meetings on East Asia cooperation in Cambodia. The meetings spoke highly of the outcomes of economic and trade cooperation between China and related countries and China’s positive contribution to regional economic integration.

This year marks the inception of China-ASEAN comprehensive strategic partnership and the entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. China and ASEAN actively implemented the consensuses of the leaders’ meetings of 2021, and worked intensively to complete the joint feasibility study on China-ASEAN FTA 3.0. At the 25th China-ASEAN (10+1) Leaders’ Meeting, Premier Li Keqiang and ASEAN leaders announced together the launch of negotiations on China-ASEAN FTA 3.0. The two sides will conduct negotiations around issues of common interest, including the digital economy, green economy, supply chains connectivity, competition, consumer protection and micro, small, and medium enterprises, so that the China-ASEAN FTA can better serve businesses and tackle global challenges in a future-proof way. At the ASEAN-Plus Three (10+3) Summit, attending leaders spoke highly of the significance of the entry into force and implementation of RCEP and called upon all parties to fulfill RCEP obligations to high standards to amplify its dividends. China has pledged US$ 1 million for RCEP economic and technical cooperation and will continue to help ASEAN members in need to enhance their implementation capabilities. China will actively push all parties to support Hong Kong’s bid to join RCEP among the first group of new members.

Besides, China and ASEAN issued a host of economic and trade cooperation documents through the China-ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting, such as the Work Programme on Further Deepening ASEAN-China Trade and Economic Cooperation and the Joint Statement on Cooperation for Post-COVID Economic Recovery. ASEAN-China Joint Statement on Strengthening Common and Sustainable Development, among other documents, also fully recognized the outcomes of bilateral economic and trade cooperation, sending a positive signal promoting regional economic integration.

For the next steps, China will work with ASEAN to implement RCEP in a high-quality manner, seize the opportunities of the digital and green economy, push forward ACFTA 3.0 and build New International Land-Sea Trade Corridors with more ASEAN countries to bring more quality ASEAN goods into China’s vast market, continuously expand convergence of interests and work towards a closer China-ASEAN community of shared future. Thank you.

China News Service: Recently, Covid flare-ups have been reported across the country, including foreign trade strongholds like Guangdong. What is MOFCOM’s assessment of the impact on China’s foreign trade in Q4? China’s monthly foreign trade has been falling year-on-year for three months in a row. Will there be a rebound in Q4?

Shu Jueting: In the first ten months of the year, China’s foreign trade went up steadily with year-on-year record high value of imports and exports, value of exports and value of imports. In the past months, due to weakening external demand, geopolitics, and localized Covid flare-ups, monthly imports and exports have slowed largely in line with global economic and trade trajectories. In Q4, with growing complexity and tension in external environment, rising uncertainties and instabilities and anaemic external demand posing a greater challenge, foreign trade will come under even greater pressure given the high base of last year.

That said, China’s foreign trade still enjoys the strong support of sound industrial bases and growing business capabilities to fulfill contracts and innovate. With trade-stabilizing policies continuing to show effect and significantly increased international flights, foreign trade performance will stay in a reasonable range in Q4. Thank you.

Shu Jueting: Any further questions? if not, this concludes today’s press conference. Thank you.



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