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Chinese market still cherished by foreign firms

China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-22 07:40

Visitors sample bread at the booth of Lesaffre at the sixth China International Import Expo in Shanghai. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

China has a unique advantage that is recognized by the world: its huge market. China has a population of more than 1.4 billion, larger than the combined population of all developed countries today. It is predicted that in the next 15 years or so, China's middle-income group will grow from 400 million to 800 million.

McKinsey Global Institute estimates that in 2020, 55 Chinese cities could be classified as high-income cities, covering 27 percent of China's population. By 2030, the number of high-income cities in China will increase to 93, which will be home to 44 percent of the population.

China is the biggest engine of global growth and is expected to contribute to one-third of global growth this year. The International Monetary Fund has raised its forecast for China's gross domestic product growth rate this year to 5.4 percent. Goldman Sachs, Union Bank of Switzerland and other foreign financial institutions recently released reports on China's economic outlook in 2024, projecting that the Chinese economy is expected to continue to recover and improve.

It is clear that the Chinese economy has strong resilience, full potential and broad space. The fundamentals of the Chinese economy will remain positive in the long run.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of China launching its reform and opening-up policy. It also marks the 30th anniversary of the launch of the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting. Eight of China's top 10 trading partners are APEC member economies, and China is the largest trading partner of 13 APEC member economies.

China has recently announced a series of new measures to promote opening-up, including improving the protection mechanism for foreign investment rights and interests, further reducing the negative list for foreign investment access, and guaranteeing the national treatment of foreign-invested ventures. This once again shows China's determination to build a market-oriented, law-based and international business environment.

Some Western media outlets hype up the rising labor costs in China and the transfer of industry chains by some Western companies from China to other emerging economies in Southeast Asia. But that's simply not true, as China's status in the global industry and supply chains has only been consolidated in recent years through its efforts to promote innovation and upgrade its industries.

China's advantages are reflected in its comprehensive cost performance, including world-class infrastructure, complete industrial structure, long industry chains and the responsiveness of the government system, as well as its large number of entrepreneurs and high-quality workers. These are competitive advantages that no other country has all of.

According to a survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in China, 66 percent of the US companies in China sampled this year said they will maintain or increase their investment in the country over the next two years.

Statistics show that in the first 10 months of this year, 41,947 new foreign-invested enterprises were established in China, an increase of 32.1 percent year-on-year. It is fair to say that whoever gives up on the Chinese market is insulating themselves from opportunities and decoupling themselves from the future. China brings dynamism, certainty and growth to a world that is in short supply of them as it enters a period of turbulent change. That explains China's continued appeal to the foreign business community.


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