Free Trade Zones

Companies trust the Chinese market

BEIJING: Despite the coronavirus pandemic and the increasingly complex global environment, foreign companies are voting confidence in the Chinese economy as they continue to see opportunities as the country opens up further.

According to the 2022 China Business Climate Survey Report released by the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham China) and audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, about 60% of companies surveyed said they made profits in China. last year and two thirds of them plan to increase their investments in the country this year.

Nearly two-thirds of AmCham China member companies ranked China among the top three investment destinations in the world, or even the top.

Another report, published by the German Chamber of Commerce in China and KPMG, found that nearly 60% of German companies in China reported improved business operations last year, and 71% of them planned to invest more in the country.

China’s attractiveness to foreign businesses in a pandemic-shaken world is the result of the country’s steady economic recovery and an improved business environment.

Regular recovery

In 2021, the Chinese economy recorded gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 8.1%. This year, China sets its economic growth target at around 5.5%, which should boost the global economic recovery.

“China’s sustained and steady economic growth will bring more opportunities, and we are optimistic about the development prospects of the Chinese market,” said Meng Pu, president of Qualcomm China.

China is one of Qualcomm’s biggest markets and innovation bases in the world, the executive said, noting that the company’s cooperation with Chinese partners has extended to areas such as smartphones. , integrated circuits, software, automobiles and the Internet of Things.

As the world’s second-largest commodity consumer market, retail sales of consumer goods in China rose 12.5 percent year-on-year to 44.1 trillion yuan (about $6.97 trillion) in 2021, according to data. official data.

Herbalife Nutrition, a US-based global nutrition company, has noticed the growing vitality of the Chinese market and growing consumer pursuit for healthy lifestyles.

“We believe the nutrition and health industry will experience rapid development in China, and we will continue to increase our investment here,” said Woody Guo, senior vice president and general manager of Herbalife Nutrition China.

A wider opening

As China continues to open its doors wider, foreign companies are seeing more and more business opportunities.

Foreign companies in China enjoy greater prospects as Beijing continues to promote high-level openness and innovation-driven development while improving the business environment, said Zhang Heping, director of Sanofi Greater China, a French healthcare company.

China is committed to expanding high-quality institutional openness, granting national treatment to foreign-funded enterprises, attracting more investment from multinational corporations, and facilitating the rapid implementation of major foreign-funded projects. in 2022, according to the annual Central Economic Work. Conference last December.

To further open up the economy, a shortened negative list for foreign investment came into effect on January 1, with prohibited items reduced to 31 from 33 a year earlier. The cap on foreign capital in the automobile industry was removed and manufacturing restrictions in the pilot free trade zones were reduced to zero.

As a window to observe a country’s level of openness and reflect its economic vitality, foreign direct investment used in mainland China rose 11.6 percent year on year to 102.28 billion yuan in January, according to official data. The growth rate was the fastest and the first double-digit increase in the same month since 2016.

Based on China’s strong economic fundamentals and its competitive advantages in terms of market size, infrastructure and business environment, Kang Yong, chief economist of KPMG China, said foreign investment in China will remain raised in 2022.