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Foreign enterprises rev up investment in China's manufacturing industry Release date: 2023-11-27    Source:Xinhua

Volkswagen (Anhui) Components Co., Ltd. (VWAC), Volkswagen Group's first wholly-owned battery system plant in China, started production earlier this week in Hefei, capital of east China's Anhui Province.

With a total investment of over 140 million euros (about 152.6 million U.S. dollars), the company has an initial annual capacity of 150,000 to 180,000 high-voltage battery systems.

The battery system produced at the plant is a crucial component for Volkswagen Anhui's modular electric drive matrix (MEB) electric vehicle production and 96 percent of the components required for battery production are supplied locally.

"With the first high-voltage battery system rolling off the production line at VWAC, Volkswagen Group Components China has shown its dedication to locally developing and producing top-notch backbone components for our electric vehicles," said Olaf Korzinovski, executive vice president of Volkswagen Group China.

Volkswagen Group is among the foreign companies that are revving up investment in China's manufacturing industry as the country continues to promote high-quality development of manufacturing and high-level opening-up.

In May, refrigeration industry giant Danfoss inaugurated its global refrigeration research and development (R&D) and testing center in Tianjin. In the same month, BMW Group's joint venture in China, BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd., began the construction of a new battery production plant in Liaoning's capital Shenyang. In September, Airbus broke ground on its second final assembly line in China.

A total of 41,947 new foreign-invested companies were established in China during the first 10 months of the year, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed.

Specifically, the actual use of foreign investment in manufacturing rose 1.9 percent year on year to 283.44 billion yuan (about 39.84 billion U.S. dollars) during this period, with that in high-tech manufacturing logging an increase of 9.5 percent.

China's strong appeal to foreign-funded manufacturing projects can be attributed to several key factors, including its comprehensive industrial ecosystem, huge and open market, strong R&D and innovation vitality and friendly business environment.

At the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in October, China announced it would remove all restrictions on foreign investment access in the manufacturing sector.

Corning Inc., one of the world's leading innovators in materials science, has continued to invest in China in areas including display glass, automotive glass and emission control products since it opened its first sales office in China in 1980.

"We have witnessed the rapid development of the Chinese market and are impressed by the strong resilience and great vitality of it," said Liu Zhifei, president and general manager of Corning Greater China.

"At the same time, the company has also been developing well, with its sales and manufacturing system and ability here becoming very complete and advanced," Liu added.

China is more than a vital market but is also an innovation engine for many foreign enterprises. According to a recent survey conducted by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, for three consecutive quarters, foreign enterprises surveyed identified "technological innovation and R&D" as the greatest development opportunity in the Chinese market.

"Volkswagen has been growing hand in hand with China for 40 years. In no other country is the speed of transformation and innovation in the automotive sector as high as here," said Olaf Korzinovski.

"BMW Group considers China to be much more than just our largest single market, but rather an important origin of innovation," said Jochen Goller, president and CEO of BMW Group Region China.

"We have deepened the communication with foreign companies through round table meetings and other ways this year and most of those companies are positive about China's development prospect and willing to maintain long-term development in China," said Ministry of Commerce spokesperson He Yadong at a press conference this month.

"We welcome more multinational companies to join the Chinese market and share the dividends of China's development," He added.