For­eign firms ‘op­ti­mistic’ about prospects in China

60% re­gard coun­try as one of their top-three in­vest­ment tar­gets.

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By ZHENG XIN zhengxin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Most for­eign com­pa­nies re­main op­ti­mistic about grow­ing in China, ac­cord­ing to a new sur­vey from the Amer­i­can Cham­ber of Com­merce.

Its 2016 Busi­ness Cli­mate Sur­vey polled al­most 500 AmChamChi­namem­ber­com­pa­nies, with 60 per­cent re­gard­ing the coun­try as one of their top three in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tions, and a quar­ter their pri­or­ity mar­ket.

“Rel­a­tive to other de­vel­op­ing mar­kets, China is still well­po­si­tioned,” said AmCham China Chair­man James Zimmerman.

“China re­mains a top in­vest­ment pri­or­ity for more than half of com­pa­nies as they look to in­no­va­tion for growth.”

China’s eco­nomic­slow­down has been on­go­ing for two years, with both fac­tory out­put and in­vest­ment growth fail­ing to ful­fill fore­casts.

AmCham said its mem­ber com­pa­nies be­lieve a stronger le­gal frame­work was nec­es­sary to fa­cil­i­tate fu­ture busi­ness growth.

How­ever, nearly 80 per­cent of those polled ex­pected the US-China Bi­lat­eral In­vest­ment Treaty to in­crease trans­parency, pre­dictabil­ity and fair­ness of the reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ment.

The cham­ber’s multi­na­tional mem­bers are as con­fi­dent in China’s in­vest­ment and eco­nomic out­look as its Amer­i­can mem­bers, show­ing no trace of keep­ing back their en­thu­si­asm to in­vest and set up new busi­ness.

Ac­cord­ing to theMin­istry of Com­merce, op­ti­mism in China’s eco­nomic out­look and in­vest­ment by multi­na­tion­als helped the coun­try at­tract 781.4 bil­lion yuan ($126.3 bil­lion) in non-fi­nan­cial for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment in 2015, up 6.4 per­cent from 2014.

Tang Wen­hong, di­rec­tor­gen­eral of the min­istry’s depart­ment of for­eign in­vest­ment ad­min­is­tra­tion, has said the world’s top 500 com­pa­nies have con­tin­ued to in­vest and ex­pand their busi­ness in the coun­try, re­flect­ing a com­mit­ment to China’s eco­nomic out­look.

US chip­maker Qual­comm Inc re­cently pledged a ma­jor in­vest­ment in Guizhou prov­ince, as part of a 1.85 bil­lion yuan joint ven­ture to pro­duce server chips mar­ket.

Ride-hail­ing firm Uber Tech­nolo­gies Inc has also com­mit­ted 6.3 bil­lion yuan in China, while Star­bucks Corp said it is plan­ning to open 500 stores here this year— its largest mar­ket out­side of theUnited States — and cre­ate 10,000 jobs an­nu­ally in the coun­try through to 2019.

Forty-six per­cent of the AmCham mem­ber com­pa­nies said they ex­pect to in­crease their own head­counts this year.

The sur­vey’s com­men­tary said firms high­lighted growth in do­mes­tic con­sump­tion and the rise of an in­creas­ingly large and af­flu­ent middle class re­mained piv­otal across a va­ri­ety of in­dus­try sec­tors, while con­sumer, tech­nol­ogy and R&D-in­ten­sive com­pa­nies also saw sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­ni­ties in the govern­ment’s In­ter­net Plus ini­tia­tive, and e-com­merce.

for the do­mes­tic

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

A Star­bucks out­let in Fuzhou, cap­i­tal of Fu­jian prov­ince. Star­bucks Corp is plan­ning to open 500 stores in China this year.

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