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"Next China" is still China

2023-12-01

A wave of executives from prominent foreign companies have been visiting China since the start of the year, seeking opportunities to expand their cooperation with partners in the country. With tangible actions, they have demonstrated confidence in the Chinese market. Their engagement underscores China’s enduring magnetic appeal to international investors.

Multinational corporations are in the best position to describe this magnetic appeal. A Q3 survey by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, which covered 700 foreign-invested enterprises, found that 80 percent of the surveyed companies expect stable or rising profits this year, and nearly 90 percent anticipate stable or increased profits in the next five years.

Photo shows a busy container terminal at the Nansha port in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong province. (People's Daily Online/Chen Zhiqiang)

From January to October, 41,947 foreign-invested enterprises were newly established in China, a year-on-year increase of 32.1 percent. Actual investment from Canada, the UK, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands surged 110.3 percent, 94.6 percent, 90 percent, 66.1 percent and 33 percent, respectively, from a year ago.

Many foreign companies consider investing in China as a "must-have" option, as the open and continuously developing country remains a hotspot for global capital. As Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out, China has become a synonym of the best investment destination, and that the "next China" is still China.

The increasing foreign investment in the Chinese market stems from a firm belief in the prospects of China's development. This year, the momentum of world economic growth is sluggish. Destabilizing, uncertain and unpredictable factors are increasing. Economies around the world are facing significant challenges. However, the Chinese economy has withstood the pressure, maintained stability, and improved its quality.

China's GDP grew 5.2 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters, ranking among the top performers among major economies, and the resilience, vitality, and potential of China's economic development continued to show this October. China still remains the largest engine driving global growth, and is expected to contribute 1/3 to global economic growth this year.

Facts speak for themselves. The fundamentals of the Chinese economy - its strong resilience, enormous potential, vast room for maneuver and long-term sustainability - remain unchanged. The high-quality development of the Chinese economy injects strong positive energy into global economic growth, bringing about more market opportunities, growth opportunities, and cooperation opportunities.

Photo taken on Nov. 6, 2023 shows an advanced medical device by Siemens displayed at the sixth China International Import Expo. (People's Daily Online/Zhai Huiyong)

The confidence in investing in the Chinese market comes from the increasing openness of China. The recently concluded 6th China International Import Expo (CIIE) saw a total of $78.41 billion worth of tentative deals reached for one-year purchases of goods and services, setting a record high, and representing a growth of 6.7 percent compared to the previous year.

These solid figures serve as concrete evidence to the world that "Modernization for 1.4 billion Chinese is a huge opportunity that China provides to the world."

Besides, the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation concluded with 458 deliverables. During the forum, Chinese and foreign companies reached business deals worth $97.2 billion.

China has generated fresh momentum for greater openness, stronger cooperation, and better development through platforms such as the CIIE, China Import and Export Fair, China International Fair for Trade in Services, China International Consumer Products Expo, and through its efforts to pursue high-quality and high-level Belt and Road cooperation.

"We will continue to pursue high-quality development and high-standard opening up. Chinese modernization will bring the world more and greater opportunities for the modernization of all countries." The remarks made by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 30th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting represented not only a solemn promise, but also practical actions.

A woman experiences a gaming display manufactured by Samsung at the sixth China International Import Expo, Nov. 8, 2023. (People's Daily Online/Tang Ke)

China enjoys distinct advantages such as a socialist market economy in systemic terms, a supersize market in terms of demand, a full-fledged industrial system in terms of supply, and abundant, high-caliber labor force and entrepreneurs in terms of human resources. These inherent advantages manifest the internal logic and strong resilience of China's economic growth, which also determines that the long-term trend in attracting foreign investment in China will not change.

An international accounting firm said in a report that China will still remain the most attractive growth market in the world. Looking ahead, China’s resolve to foster a market-oriented, law-based and world-class business environment will not change. And its policy of providing equal and quality services to foreign investors will not change. It will continue to improve the mechanisms for protecting the rights and interests of foreign investors, further shorten the negative list on foreign investment, and fully ensure national treatment for foreign investors.

Practice will continue to prove that investing in China is investing in the future, and choosing China is choosing the future.

McKinsey Global Institute estimated that in 2020, 55 cities in China with 27 percent of the country’s population were "higher income" cities, and by 2030, this number will reach 93 cities, covering 44 percent of China’s population. "If you are looking for growth, the answer is very simple. The next China is China," said Joe Ngai, managing partner of McKinsey Greater China.

In an open and continuously developing China, the Chinese market, full of infinite possibilities, is bound to attract more multinational companies to invest and thrive there. Together with Chinese enterprises, they will write more splendid chapters of creating new opportunities for the world with high-quality development.

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