‘Made in China’ will continue, commerce minister says, despite de-risking efforts

by Amanda Lee at scmp.com

China’s commerce minister said his office would press on to promote its “Made in China” strategy amid growing efforts from foreign investors to diversify their portfolios, but it would not shy away from protecting against “unreasonable sanctions and suppression”.

Wang Wentao acknowledged that plans such as “China plus one” and “China plus N”, implemented by multinationals to manage risk by diversifying their supply chains from China, are creating challenges while still expressing confidence that China has the ability to overcome hurdles.

“The difficulties and challenges facing China’s foreign trade development cannot be ignored, but favourable conditions are stronger than the unfavourable factors,” said Wang in a Thursday interview with state media outlet People’s Daily. “It is expected that China will remain the largest country in goods trade in 2023.”

Beijing is struggling to retain its allure for overseas investors as confidence wanes and the country undergoes a shaky recovery. Concerns linger over the unpredictability of policy and tightening controls related to national security, with foreign direct investment declining 10 per cent to 1.04 trillion yuan between January and November in 2023 compared to the same period the previous year, ministry data showed.

“We will continue to build the Invest in China brand and attract more foreign investment to Made in China and Service in China,” Wang said, referring to government initiatives to bed more economic activity in the country. Overseas companies, he added, will not only be “in China for China” – they will be “in China for the world”.