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Promoting Foreign Direct Investment. China’s Experience Qimiao Fan, the World Bank. Presentation Outline. Why Worry About Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) What Matters to Foreign Investors Is China Relevant for Madagascar China’s Experience in Attracting FDI Some Possible Lessons.

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promoting foreign direct investment

Promoting Foreign Direct Investment

China’s Experience

Qimiao Fan, the World Bank

presentation outline
Presentation Outline
  • Why Worry About Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
  • What Matters to Foreign Investors
  • Is China Relevant for Madagascar
  • China’s Experience in Attracting FDI
  • Some Possible Lessons
why worry about fdi
Why Worry About FDI?
  • FDI is an important source of capital for developing countries. In 2000, FDI amounted to
    • 4 % of GDP (inflows)
    • 32% of GDP (stock)
    • 11% of total domestic investment
FDI Transfers Knowledge and Diffusion of Ideas Drives Growth
    • Foreign firms bring in new technology or upgrade existing technology
    • Technical and managerial skills and ways of doing business are transferred directly to local employees
    • Foreign firms introduce best practices to local firms that enable them to compete as suppliers to the foreign firms
• FDI Contributes to Better Integration of Developing Countries into the World Economy:
  • Investment by foreign firms can bring about convergence in environment, labour, product, safety and technology to international standards
  • FDI increases imports and exports
what matters to foreign investors
What Matters to Foreign Investors
  • The Investment Climate
    • Macroeconomic or country-level environment
      • Political and economic stability (inflation and interest rates)
      • Policy towards FDI and trade including foreign exchange rate policy
    • Regulatory framework and governance
      • Entry and exit regulations
      • Taxation
      • Environmental, health, labour and safety regulations
    • The quality and quantity of infrastructure
      • Physical infrastructure (e.g. power, telecommunications and transport)
      • Financial infrastructure (banking system, capital market)
      • Human capital (e.g. skills and education level)

Countries with better investment climate tend to attract more FDI

    • Studies have shown that the investment climate matters for FDI and for firm productivity
    • Most of the top ten countries with the largest share of FDI ranked in the top fifty percent in both political stability and regulatory quality.
china and madagascar9
China and Madagascar

Employment by Sectors, % of Total

china and madagascar10
China and Madagascar

GDP per capita in US$

china and madagascar11
China and Madagascar
  • By Most Measures, China Has Been Successful in Attracting FDI
  • In 1980, Total FDI was US$57 million in China and US$ million in Madagascar.
  • In 2002
    • FDI was over US$50 billion in China compared with US$ in Madagascar
    • FDI was equivalent to 4% of GDP in China compared with 2% for Madagascar
    • FDI per capita was US$37 in China compared with US$7 in Madagascar
    • FDI accounted for 10.1% of total fixed investment in China compared with 1.6% for Madagascar
Both China and Madagascar are low-income developing countries
  • Similar initial conditions in late 1970s and early 1980s with economy dominated by agriculture and state-owned enterprises
  • Despite similarities in initial conditions, performance differed significantly in the past two decades in the two countries
  • Policies do matter
china s experience in attracting fdi
China’s Experience in Attracting FDI
  • The National “Open-door Policy” With the Encouragement of FDI as a Key Component
  • Ensuring a Stable Political and Economic Environment for FDI
  • Investing Heavily in Infrastructure
  • The Special Economic Zones (SEZs)
  • The Role of Local Governments
  • The Role of Overseas Chinese
The National “Open-door Policy” With the Encouragement of FDI as a Key Component
    • The open-door policy, the encouragement of FDI and commitment to a market economy have been enshrined in the Communist Party Charter and the country’s Constitution
    • Even in the face of crises, China has maintained its commitment to opening up and encouraging FDI
    • Commitments are reaffirmed whenever there is doubt and uncertainty (e.g., when a new leadership comes in or after major political events)
    • Officials are trained and educated about the national policy to ensure implementation at all levels
    • Although initially only a small number of regions and sectors were allowed for FDI, the number of regions and sectors have been rapidly expanded
Foreign investors are allowed to invest in most industries including infrastructure
    • The majority of FDI went to the manufacturing sector, half of it to labor-intensive manufacturing and half to technology-intensive and capital-intensive manufacturing.
Ensuring a Stable Political and Economic Environment
    • China has been able to maintain relatively low inflation rates since the start of reforms
    • Average annual inflation was 5.8% between 1980-90 and 7.1% between 1990-2000. In 2000, inflation was 0.9%.
    • The political environment has also been relatively stable
Investing Heavily in Infrastructure
    • Both central and local governments have withdrawn from investing in competitive assets and redirected public investment to infrastructure
    • FDI and domestic private investment are also allowed into infrastructure
The Special Economic Zones (SEZs)
    • Important part of the open-door policy
    • Set up in the coastal provinces to experiment with various reforms, to attract FDI and to promote exports
    • The key policies are liberalization allowing both foreign and domestic private investors to invest in most sectors, enjoying fewer regulatory barriers and preferential tax treatment
    • Local governments in the SEZs have significant autonomy over policies, regulations and investment approval
The SEZs were “economic laboratories for the market economy” and “a bridge to outside world”
  • Most reform policies were first implemented in the SEZs
  • But successful policies, experiences, best practices and managerial and technical know-how quickly extended to the rest of the economy
  • The SEZs attracted some of the most innovative and entrepreneurial managers, workers and civil servants, but many managers and workers returned to their home region to start their own business – knowledge transfer
  • The SEZs set the standards and provide competition to the rest of the enterprise sector including the SOEs
The Role of Local Governments
    • Despite a uniform macroeconomic environment and national policy, FDI performance differs significantly across regions and SEZs
    • Local governments in both the SEZs and other regions are allowed significant autonomy and initiative
    • The coastal regions attracted over 90% of total cumulative FDI as well as large amount of domestic investment
    • The regional differences in FDI are largely a result of differences in the quality of the legal and regulatory environment and infrastructure
    • Almost half of all fixed asset investment came from local governments primarily in infrastructure

FDI from Hong Kong and Macao and Taiwan accounts for the majority of total FDI into China

  • Overseas Chinese played an important role in early FDI due to the language and culture
  • But their share is declining as FDI from the US, EU and other Asian countries increases
  • The Role of Overseas Chinese
some lessons from china
Some Lessons from China
  • Maintaining a Stable Economic and Political Environment Through Prudent Macroeconomic Management and Careful Sequencing of Reforms
  • Maintaining a Consistent and Credible National Policy and Ensuring Its Implementation Through Imbedding Key Policy Elements into Laws and Training of Officials
  • Investing in Infrastructure Through Redirecting Public Expenditures and Private Sector Participation
  • Extending Rapidly the Reforms and Successful Policies from SEZs to the Rest of the Economy and Maximize the Role of SEZs in Knowledge Transfer
  • Making Use of the Bridging Role of the Diaspora But Ensuring Equal Treatment for Investors
  • Creating a Good Regulatory Environment and Infrastructure More Important Than Fiscal Incentives