China’s Actually Used Foreign Investment Rises Nearly 20% in 2021, Hainan Free Trade Port Posts 386% Surge


The latest official data points to a surge in actually used foreign investment in China in 2021, as the country’s economy retains its appeal to global investors despite worsening relations with the US and ailing capital flows amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Figures from the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) indicate that actually used foreign capital in China for the period from January to September totalled 859.51 billion yuan, for a year-on-year rise of 19.6%.

The Hainan Free Trade Port saw actually used foreign capital surge 386% compared to the same period last year, while China’s 21 free trade pilot zones collectively posted a 31.9% increase.

“Against background of global cross-border direct investment being in the doldrums, China’s appeal to foreign capital has continued to grow contrary to trends,” said the Chinese central bank’s official news publication.

“Actually used foreign capital on a nationwide basis has hit a new historic high for the period, while the structure of capital attracted has further optimised, and its quality has continually increased.”

State-owned media has flagged continued efforts to attract overseas capital. During the recently elapsed 13th Five Year Period (2016 – 2020), the number of newly established foreign invested enterprises increased by 61.8% compared to the preceding 12th Five Year Plan, while the volume of actually used foreign capital denominated in the US dollar rose 10.4%.