China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), has announced its plans to strengthen efforts in stabilizing trade and improving the business environment for foreign companies. This move comes as part of China’s commitment to opening up to overseas investors, as emphasized by the country’s top leaders this year.
PBOC Governor Pan Gongsheng reiterated these initiatives during a symposium attended by representatives from notable foreign companies, including JPMorgan Chase, HSBC Holdings, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, UBS Group, and Tesla. The central bank aims to consider additional measures to stabilize foreign investment and trade while optimizing the operating environment for overseas firms.
China has been working towards providing more space for foreign companies to develop in the country since lifting pandemic controls. Premier Li Qiang expressed this commitment in March, assuring overseas companies that China would “unswervingly stick to opening up, regardless of changes to the global environment.”
Despite these assurances, confidence among foreign firms about China has faced challenges due to tensions between Beijing and the West, as well as concerns over regulatory ambiguity. According to a survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in China, the nation was no longer a top three investment priority for the majority of US firms for the first time in about 25 years.
To revitalize the private sector and attract foreign investment, China’s top economic planner plans to establish a dedicated department for promoting private sector growth. Additionally, the country’s securities regulator has pledged more measures to support capital markets.
Foreign holdings of China’s equities and debt have declined significantly, resulting in diminished market influence in global portfolios. In response, the Chinese securities regulator has engaged with investors, including BlackRock and Bridgewater Associates, to gather suggestions and support for the Chinese market.
China’s central bank aims to improve the quality and efficiency of financial services and create a business-friendly environment. These efforts align with the country’s broader goals of stimulating economic growth and regaining its footing as the recovery slows down.