China's overseas investment will maintain robust growth in the coming year thanks to the central government's reform plans, officials said on Wednesday.
"The government's reform plans suggest that China will further open up the overseas investment of Chinese enterprises. Policies will be optimized, and support will be increased. It's certain that the robust trend of China's overseas investment will continue," said Zhang Wei, vice-chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the China Chamber of International Commerce.
Zhang made the comments during the CCOIC's annual conference in Beijing.
China unveiled a comprehensive reform plan after the Third Plenum of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee in November. The plan includes boosting private companies and enhancing overseas investment.
"China's private enterprises will experience a 'golden era' for development as the government will emphasize a level playing field and the free flow of resources," Zhang said.
Except for particular industries such as national security and key resources, private companies will be allowed to enter all industries as long as they meet the market requirements. They will become a new pillar of the country's economic development alongside State-owned enterprises, Zhang said.
He added that many SOEs top the world's lists by size but "their competitiveness significantly falls behind transnational corporations in other countries.
"A very urgent problem is that they generally don't have modern management systems during the process of going abroad," Zhang said.
"We noticed failures among China's overseas investment projects in recent years. Our major challenges are insufficient competitiveness, which constrained the profits of overseas investment projects, and protectionism in many regions, which led to the failure of many projects," he added.
"Chinese enterprises should not only go abroad for tapping international markets - they should be more active in establishing global business rules, or even lead the setting of the rules. We will not only make use of our competitive advantage but also upgrade our industries and technologies through opening up," Zhang said.