Beijing, the vibrant capital of China, continues to solidify its position as a leading hub of scientific and technological innovation, attracting foreign investment and top talent from around the world. This was evident at the recently concluded 2023 Invest Beijing Global Summit, held as a part of the renowned Zhongguancun Forum, often referred to as “China’s Silicon Valley.” The summit witnessed the signing of numerous investment deals worth a staggering 60.8 billion yuan (approximately 8.61 billion U.S. dollars) across a diverse range of high-tech sectors, including intelligent connected vehicles, medicine and health, and intelligent manufacturing.
A total of 152 investment projects were announced during the summit, involving enterprise financing, park cooperation, building cooperation, and land financing, with a combined investment value of 143.4 billion yuan. These impressive figures showcase the growing interest and confidence of foreign-funded companies, investors, and government officials in Beijing’s business environment and its commitment to fostering innovation and growth.
One of the key factors contributing to Beijing’s appeal is its status as the home to the largest number of regional headquarters of Fortune 500 enterprises. This thriving business ecosystem prioritizes fields such as services trade, technological innovation, and intelligent manufacturing. Executives from prominent companies, such as Mercedes-Benz Group AG and Bayer Healthcare, lauded Beijing’s commitment to reform and opening-up policies, as well as its continuous efforts to improve the business environment.
Mercedes-Benz Group AG, which has invested over 100 billion yuan in China over the past decade, recognizes Beijing’s potential as an attractive choice for foreign investors. Hubertus Troska, a member of the board of management responsible for Greater China, expressed confidence in Beijing’s future, highlighting the city’s unwavering commitment to reform and its continuous improvement of the business environment.
Bayer Healthcare, one of the first foreign-funded enterprises to settle in Beijing, has also benefited from the city’s pro-reform and pro-opening policies. The establishment of the China (Beijing) Pilot Free Trade Zone has facilitated resilient supply chains and expedited customs clearances for Bayer. The company’s vice president, Carl-Alexander Scheef, emphasized Beijing’s role in driving reform and opening-up and praised the city’s efforts to create a favorable investment environment.
Beijing’s allure extends beyond its business environment. The city boasts an impressive concentration of academic and research institutions, with nearly 100 universities and over 1,000 research institutes. Beijing is globally recognized for its scientific and technological achievements and has secured the top spot in the Nature Index global science city rankings for six consecutive years. It is also home to a significant number of “unicorn” companies—startups valued at 1 billion U.S. dollars or more—further solidifying its status as a prominent hub for sci-tech innovation.
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The innovation hub of Zhongguancun, located in Beijing, has attracted over 300 multinational companies to establish regional headquarters and research centers. Additionally, more than 130 Fortune Global 500 companies have chosen to set up branch offices in this thriving ecosystem. The success of Beijing’s venture capital industry plays a vital role in supporting cutting-edge sci-tech innovation. Investment firms like Sequoia China have witnessed remarkable achievements, with 50 Beijing-based companies completing initial public offerings and 43 becoming “unicorn” companies. These accomplishments further bolster the belief that Beijing will continue to produce leading enterprises with global influence.
Beijing’s commitment to fostering a favorable investment environment and its relentless pursuit of scientific and technological advancements have made it an irresistible destination for foreign investment. With its impressive track record, thriving business ecosystem, and unwavering support for innovation, Beijing is set to maintain its position as a beacon of scientific and technological progress, attracting even more investment and talent in the years to come.