China central bank, FX regulator meet foreign firms in capital drive

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s central bank and forex regulator met with foreign financial institutions and companies on Monday, as Beijing strives to attract overseas investment to support its recovery.

JPMorgan, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Tesla were among those attending the meeting, according to a statement by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), in a sign of renewed efforts by Chinese policymakers to revive foreign trade and investment.

The world’s second-largest economy has lost steam since the second quarter and showed only tentative signs of stabilisation last month with policy support.

China will improve its policies, and create a market-oriented and international-level business climate, PBOC Governor Pan Gongsheng was quoted as saying in the statement.

Pan said China will also continue to improve the quality and efficiency of its financial services.

The firms at the meeting called on Beijing to optimise its business environment, the statement said.

China has sought to court foreign capital as its economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic slows in the face of tepid overseas demand and property weakness.

In a bid to attract more foreign investment, China’s State Council, its cabinet, in August issued guidelines on overseas capital, saying authorities should increase protection of the rights and interests of outside investors, including strengthening enforcement of intellectual property rights.

Actualised foreign direct investment into China fell 5.1% year-on year to 847.2 billion yuan ($116 billion) in the first eight months of 2023, the commerce ministry said on Friday.

($1 = 7.2949 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(This story has been corrected to say JPMorgan, not Morgan Stanley, in paragraph 2)

(Reporting by Ellen Zhang, Ethan Wang and Bernard Orr; Editing by Louise Heavens and Alexander Smith)