Biz leader hails China's support for foreign investment

2023-1-12 10:49:56

A series of initiatives taken by various departments across the country to continuously optimize the business environment have provided strong support for foreign companies to develop in the nation, said Leon Wang, executive vice-president, international and China president at AstraZeneca.

The global pharmaceutical company is very confident about the development prospects of China's economy and its open investment environment, Wang added.

Thanks to the effective pandemic control measures in China, the manufacturing and supply network of the nation have recovered speedily, which enabled AstraZeneca to continue providing world-class "Made in China" medicines to nearly 70 markets globally, he said.

AstraZeneca's total revenue performance in the third quarter of 2022 reached $1.54 billion, up 8 percent year-on-year, according to an announcement from the company.

The company is expected to continue to pursue high-quality innovations in R&D so as to strengthen the strategic role of Chinese innovation globally with key R&D synchronization rates projected to rise from 90 percent in 2022 to 100 percent in 2023, according to Wang.

The number of R&D institutions of foreign-funded pharmaceutical enterprises in China reached 483 in 2020, an increase of 48 over 2019 with the expenditure of R&D institutions reaching 14.91 billion yuan ($2.20 billion), an increase of 0.9 percent over 2019, said the Report on Foreign Investment in China 2022, citing data from the China Statistics Yearbook on High Technology Industry.

AstraZeneca will also continue to work with its partners to explore innovative medical product development pathways in China to help the growth and adoption of new and original Chinese medicines, in line with the strengths of the Chinese market and economic resilience.

China has become one of the world's largest pharmaceutical and health markets and as a leading global biopharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca is not only bringing new drugs into China, but also taking new Chinese drugs to the world, contributing to China's high-quality development, Wang said.

China's foreign direct investment expanded 9.9 percent year-on-year to nearly 1.16 trillion yuan in the first 11 months of 2022, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

China reaffirmed its commitment to high-level opening-up and emphasized the need to make greater efforts to attract and utilize foreign capital, widen market access, promote the opening-up of the modern service sector, and grant foreign-funded enterprises national treatment at the annual Central Economic Work Conference.

AstraZeneca sees the strength of China's manufacturing sector and the opportunity to expand its production capacity and, more importantly, the initiatives of local governments to retain foreign investment.

In 2022, AstraZeneca built an inhalation aerosol plant in the Qingdao High-tech Zone, invested 180 million yuan in its Taizhou supply base, devoted 100 million yuan in its Wuxi supply base to introduce a new production line for Lokelma and to integrate its global Nexium production line into Wuxi supply base, expediting the localized production and supply of innovative drugs.

The company will continue to accelerate its China market presence, promote the development of supporting local innovation and high-quality economic development in China, and give Chinese innovation more opportunities to go global through investment and innovation in 2023, said Wang.

(Source: China Daily)

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