Multinational corporations show increasing confidence in investing in China

Visitors are attracted to a Tesla Model 3 electric car exhibited at the automobile exhibition area of the third China International Import Expo held in east China’s Shanghai, Nov. 6, 2020. (Photo by Zhai Huiyong/People’s Daily Online)

Foreign businesses in China are optimistic about the prospects of China’s economic development and still consider China as a priority investment destination, according to a survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham China).


Seventy-five percent of the respondents are optimistic about the prospects of the Chinese market, and 81 percent of the companies surveyed expect their industries in China to grow this year, as shown by a report on the survey released on March 9.


China boasts prominent advantages of a huge market, said Yan Bin, chairman of Reignwood Group, a multinational company founded in Thailand.


With the growth of Chinese people’s income and the expansion in the size of China’s middle-income group, the country sees a growing trend toward consumption upgrading, which means enormous business opportunities, Yan noted.


By pursuing a new round of high-level opening-up, China has fully demonstrated the inclusiveness of its economy, said Yin Zheng, executive vice president of Schneider Electric and president of Schneider Electric China, adding that the move not only helps attract more technologies and investment to China, but facilitates the export of advanced Chinese technologies and products.


Last year, Schneider Electric increased its investment in local research and development and the establishment of advanced production lines in several Chinese cities, including Xiamen, Xi’an and Beijing, in a bid to produce new-generation digital and green electrical products, according to Yin.


“With the new opening-up initiative, we see more opportunities to co-work and innovate with our Chinese partners and achieve win-win results,” said Yin.


In 2020, the amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland, in actual use, grew to about one trillion yuan ($153.8 billion), making China the world’s largest recipient of FDI.


“We are firmly bullish about the prospects of China’s economic growth,” said Song Weiqun, global senior vice president of Johnson & Johnson and chairman of Johnson & Johnson China.


During the past year, the Chinese government put into effect its foreign investment law and implemented the regulation on optimizing the business environment, and made active efforts to ease market access for foreign investments, better protect foreign investors’ legitimate rights and interests, and create a fair and transparent business environment, offering genuine support for the development of foreign-funded businesses in China, Song noted.


High-level opening-up is not only beneficial to international trade and cooperation, but also helps boost innovation, said Fabrice Megarbane, president of L’Oreal North Asia Zone and CEO of L’Oreal China.


China’s efforts to promote innovation-driven economic development and Chinese consumers’ aspiration for high-quality products, services, and experiences make the country an indispensable market for multinationals, according to Megarbane.


“Foreign investors are welcome to expand their investments in China and share in its vast open market and development opportunities,” said China’s recently released annual Report on the Work of the Government.


In the report, the country pledged efforts to promote fair competition between domestic and foreign companies and protect the lawful rights and interests of foreign-invested enterprises.


China is also going to leverage the flows of the domestic economy to make itself a major magnet for global production factors and resources, thereby promoting positive interplay between domestic circulation and international circulation, according to the report. Such gestures have won wide recognition from foreign-funded companies.


The country will develop new systems for a higher-standard open economy, promote the high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and build a globally oriented network of high-standard free trade zones, said the report.


China’s efforts to open its door wider to the rest of the world have not only intensified the bilateral trade between China and Saudi Arabia, but provided strong support for the integration of the BRI with Saudi Vision 2030, noted Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz Al-Ajlan, chairman of the Saudi Chinese Business Council and vice chairman of Ajlan & Brothers, a Saudi Arabian manufacturer of menswear.


As China constantly deepens reform and opening-up, the country enjoys bright prospects for reshaping the development of the digital economy, according to Lothar Herrmann, president and CEO of Siemens Greater China.


Herrmann believes that China is not only the second largest overseas market for Siemens, but an exceptional center for research and development and an important base for the company’s future development.


Siemens will continue to carry out extensive cooperation with its Chinese partners in an environment featuring equality, openness, and transparency, and empower the transformation of pillar sectors of economic growth such as industry, infrastructure, and transportation with technologies, said Herrmann.


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