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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Foreign CEOs upbeat on China’s market

BusinessMacroForeign CEOs upbeat on China's market

Top executives from multinational companies are making their way to China next month, highlighting China’s significance in global business plans. This comes amid a subdued global economy and a growing recognition of China’s potential as a thriving business destination. The multinationals that have confirmed their visits include industrial conglomerate Danaher Corp, pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, and beauty brand L’Oreal Group. The list also includes Volkswagen, Apple, Pfizer, and Mercedes-Benz.

As China deepens its reforms and opens up its market, foreign investors are becoming increasingly optimistic about the country’s economic prospects. Despite headwinds and challenges, China’s economy posted better-than-expected 3% growth in 2022, and recent data suggests a robust recovery. The International Monetary Fund has even raised its forecast for China’s 2023 growth to 5.2%, a 0.8 percentage point increase from its October projection.

China’s growing economic scale, pace of growth, and increasing openness level have combined to create massive development opportunities for foreign enterprises. The country’s stability as a global economic powerhouse and focus on innovation are also contributing factors to the growing confidence of foreign companies in the Chinese market.

L’Oreal Group CEO Nicolas Hieronimus is among the executives visiting China next month. He believes the Chinese market will bounce back on all fronts and that his company will benefit even more from the reopening of cross-border travel. Rainer Blair, the CEO of Danaher, said that China is a “strategic and fast-growing market” for his company, and they are dedicated to long-term development in the country. The company plans to increase its capacity in China and better support its customers.

Danaher’s life sciences subsidiary Cytiva is expanding its Fast Trak center in Shanghai with an investment of around $8 million, tapping into China’s rapidly growing biopharmaceutical industry. The company’s microelectronics unit, Pall Corp, has also been accelerating its localization in China. AstraZeneca sees China as a “powerhouse and stabilizer for global economic growth” and says the country’s ever-improving business environment and policy measures, as well as its emphasis on innovation, boost not only the Chinese economy but also foreign enterprises’ confidence in China.

Zhou Mi, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, says that China’s openness level, economic scale, and pace of growth provide huge opportunities for foreign enterprises. Robin Xing, chief China economist at Morgan Stanley, predicts China’s economy will expand 5.7% year-on-year in 2023 and contribute around 40% of global economic growth. He says China’s robust recovery, especially against the weak performance of major economies like the US, will benefit other countries.

In conclusion, the planned visits by top executives from multinational companies next month highlight the significance of China in the global business landscape. Despite headwinds and challenges, China’s economy is expected to continue its robust recovery, and foreign companies are becoming increasingly optimistic about their future in the country. With its deep reforms, expanding openness, and focus on innovation, China is poised to become a thriving business destination for foreign companies in the coming years.

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