Hainan's coastline. Tourism is the mainstay of the island. Photo: Supplied

Twelve overseas enterprises, including tourism giant TUI Group from Germany, signed cooperation agreements on major projects within the free trade port in south China’s Hainan province on Thursday.

A total of 59 major projects, 12 foreign-funded and 47 domestic, were agreed, covering tourism, the modern service industry and high-tech industries, with an estimated total investment of 14.2 billion yuan (US$2 billion).

A representative of TUI Group said the signing marks the group’s formal entry into the Hainan free trade port, adding that it will found an Asian-Pacific regional headquarters and joint venture there to deepen its business relations with China and the Asian-Pacific region.

The signing ceremony also unveiled 20 investment-promotion projects that are open to global investors, in areas such as new-energy vehicles, tourism, offshore trade and duty-free retail.

On June 1, China released a master plan for constructing a free trade port on Hainan, a resort island with tourism as a mainstay industry, arousing interest abroad and at home. As increasing foreign companies come to invest, Hainan is making every effort to improve its business environment.

Industrial output

China’s value-added industrial output, an important economic indicator, rose 4.8% year-on-year in July, or up 0.98% month-on-month, as factories stepped up production amid effective Covid-19 control, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Friday.

In July, output by manufacturing industry expanded 6% year-on-year. Output of industries in the production and supply of electricity, thermal power, gas and water reported a year-on-year increase of 1.7%, while the mining sector saw output down by 2.6%.

The recovery of services production was accelerated with modern service industries growing well, according to the NBS. In July, the Index of Services Production increased by 3.5% year-on-year, 1.2 percentage points higher than that of June.

The market sales continued to pick up, and the year-on-year growth of monthly retail sales of goods shifted from negative to positive. In July, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 3.22 trillion yuan, down by 1.1% year-on-year, a decline narrowed by 0.7 percentage points compared with that in June, and the month-on-month growth was 0.85%.

Foreign direct investment 

Foreign direct investment (FDI) into mainland China, in actual use, expanded 15.8% year-on-year to 63.47 billion yuan in July, according to the country’s Ministry of Commerce.

This marked the fourth consecutive month for the country to witness positive growth in FDI. The performance of FDI inflow in the first seven months of this year was better than expected, reversing a losing streak in the first half, said Zong Changqing, an official with the ministry.

During the period, FDI rose 0.5% year-on-year to 535.65 billion yuan, gaining 1.8 percentage points on of the period between January and June.

A breakdown of data showed FDI inflow in the service industry rose 11.6% to 414.59 billion yuan  between January and July from the same period last year, accounting for 77.4% of the total.

Investment from Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Kingdom logged a year-on-year growth of 8.2%, 4.6% and 48.6%, respectively, during the same period.

Central bank bills

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank, issued 30 billion yuan worth of bills in Hong Kong on Thursday.

Of the total bills, 20 billion yuan will mature in three months and 10 billion yuan will mature a year later, with the interest rate for both standing at 2.7%. 

The issuance was well received by investors in the offshore markets of many countries and regions in Europe, North America and Asia, with the total bid amount reaching about 62.4 billion yuan, 2.1 times the amount in circulation, said the PBoC.

The stories were written by Xu Jiangshan and Liu Licong and first published at ATimesCN.com. They were translated by Nadeem Xu.