The number of newly established foreign-funded firms in Shenzhen recorded an increase of 86.6% year on year in 2023, according to a Shenzhen Special Zone Daily report yesterday.

Shenzhen’s 8,002 new foreign firms also took the lead in Guangdong, as the southern China economic powerhouse turned out to be an investment magnet for foreign investors, who chose to locate 41% of their newly launched firms in the country in the province in the first half of 2023, official data show.

Open, inclusive and innovative, Shenzhen has become a hotbed for global investment. In 2023, the actual use of foreign investment in Shenzhen reached 62.62 billion yuan (US$8.70 billion), ranking first in Guangdong, the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily report said.

In recent years, foreign-funded firms have continued to boost their presence in Shenzhen by establishing research and development centers.

Currently, Shenzhen has lured 15 of the world’s top scientific research and technology service firms, including Intel, Qualcomm, Apple and ARM, covering areas such as intellectual property services, inspection and testing, strategic consulting, aerospace, biomedicine, high-end equipment manufacturing and chip manufacturing and design.

Shenzhen’s efforts to promote high-quality foreign investment proved to be fruitful. Official data show that in 2023, the number of newly launched foreign firms in the city’s manufacturing industry increased 53.8% compared with a year ago, while the number of new foreign firms in high-tech industries jumped 60.6% from a year earlier.

GE HealthCare Technologies Inc. sped up its investment in Shenzhen last year by sealing two deals in the city.

The U.S. medical technology company announced in February that it teamed up with China National Medical Device Co., a subsidiary of giant domestic drugmaker Sinopharm, to develop, manufacture and commercialize medical equipment to address the growing needs of China’s health care market. It has also joined hands with Shenzhen Bay Laboratory and the Shenzhen Medical Academy of Research and Translation in industry-university-research cooperation.

“All these are impossible without Shenzhen’s economic vitality, innovative atmosphere, supply chain system, talent pool and international exchange environment,” Zhang Yihao, CEO and president of GE HealthCare China, said.

In August last year, Shenzhen introduced three work blueprints in a bid to further improve the business environment for foreign investment and make it market-oriented, legalized and internationalized. All the efforts Shenzhen has made are aimed to create a more outward-oriented, entrepreneurial and innovative atmosphere, making the city a preferred destination for foreign investment, the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily report said.

According to a survey released by PricewaterhouseCoopers last year, Shenzhen will continue to attract foreign-funded firms as the city moves to improve its industrial and supply chain structures, as well as its scientific and technological innovation capacities.