Aerial photo taken on Oct 15, 2019, shows a view of the Lujiazui area in Shanghai. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING – China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Friday pledged to continue widening market access for foreign investment as the sector continues to face a complex and severe situation this year.

China will fully implement the new negative list for foreign investment and further lift restrictive measures, Zong Changqing, a MOC official, told a press briefing.

Pilots to open up the service sector will be further expanded, while stronger policy support will be provided to stabilize foreign investment, Zong said, adding that the ministry will also improve the layout of the pilot free trade zones and implement the construction plan for Hainan free trade port.

More efforts will be made to step up the protection of legitimate interests of foreign investors and foster a business environment that is market-oriented, law-based and internationalized.

Rising above the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economic recession, China became the world’s top destination for new foreign direct investment last year.

The country bucked the global downward trend and recorded a 4-percent growth in inflows, overtaking the United States as the largest recipient in 2020, according to a recent report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.