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Fostering global partnerships: SIEF's multilateral approach to Chinese business expansion

By Dong Bin | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-02-07 14:33

Opening speech by Long Yongtu, co-chairman of Sino-International Entrepreneurs Federation, at the 2023 Sino-International Entrepreneurs Auto Valley Forum. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

In 2023, amid a rapidly changing global economic landscape, Chinese companies have significantly accelerated their push into overseas markets. Central to this narrative is the proactive role of the Sino-International Entrepreneurs Federation (SIEF), a global non-profit dedicated to facilitating Chinese enterprises' global ambitions.

The consensus among the Chinese business community is stark: to survive and thrive, going global is not just an option but a necessity. This realization comes against the backdrop of domestic challenges, including overcapacity and price wars that have eroded profit margins, and international challenges such as trade tensions and geopolitical shifts that are reshaping global supply chains.

"Over the years, our focus has shifted toward connecting China with the world, rebuilding international trade ties, and fostering stronger links between China and the international multilateral system," said Long Yongtu, former vice-minister of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and co-chairman of the federation. This sentiment reflects a strategic reorientation of Chinese businesses from merely exporting products to exporting brands, prioritizing considerations such as safety, cost, and geopolitics.

A prime example of the federation's efforts to facilitate this global integration is the recent surge of Chinese investment in the Middle East, particularly in Saudi Arabia. This region has become a focal point for wealth and opportunity, drawing significant attention from Chinese investors. Chief Representative of the federation Dong Bin's visit to Riyadh underscored the deepening relations between China and the Arab world.

"Saudi Arabia, with its Vision 2030, is transitioning toward an open economy, mirroring China's own reform trajectory. This alignment presents unparalleled opportunities for cooperation," Dong said in a CGTN interview.

The federation has been instrumental in laying the groundwork for such cooperation through various initiatives, including the organization of the China-Arab Entrepreneurs Summit.

Moreover, the federation's influence extends beyond the Middle East. Its engagement in forums such as the Sino-International Entrepreneurs Auto Valley Forum in Wuhan, which attracted over 600 global industry leaders, showcases its commitment to driving high-quality development across industries.

2023 also marked significant milestones for China's engagement with Europe and Africa, further amplified by the federation's efforts. The organization's role in facilitating dialogues and partnerships, such as the Sino-European Entrepreneurs Summit in Qingdao, has been pivotal in connecting Chinese businesses with global opportunities.

Long Yongtu's vision for the federation, to match Chinese firms' transformation and branding needs with global resources and expertise, reflects a broader strategy of leveraging international cooperation for corporate and economic upgrade. "International cooperation and corporate transformation are the streams that lead to the vast ocean of China's high-standard opening-up and high-quality development," Long expressed, emphasizing the synergy between China's domestic reforms and its global integration efforts.

As the federation continues to build bridges for Chinese entrepreneurs, facilitating their entry into new markets and fostering bilateral cooperation, its activities resonate with China's broader economic strategies. From supporting the establishment of special economic zones in Saudi Arabia to organizing matchmaking roadshows for the Jazan Special Economic Zone, the federation's initiatives are instrumental in deepening China's bilateral relations with key regions and countries.

The federation's delegation welcomed by Javier Maroto Aranzábal, deputy speaker of the Spanish Senate. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The organization's future plans include further summits and dialogues in Europe, Africa, Australia, and the Arab world, aiming to explore cooperation with China's neighboring countries and strengthen ties with government agencies and industry associations. This forward-looking approach is indicative of the federation's commitment to not just navigating through current economic complexities but also embracing a broader vision for global economic integration.

Through strategic initiatives and high-level cooperation, the federation not only aids in the global expansion of Chinese businesses but also fosters a framework for sustainable international engagement. By building bridges between China and the world, the federation plays a pivotal role in enhancing China's global economic footprint, ensuring that Chinese enterprises are well-positioned to navigate the complexities of the global market while contributing to the broader narrative of economic globalization and mutual development.

The author is the chief representative of Sino-International Entrepreneurs Federation.

The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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