World Insights: Opportunities in China still appealing
People visit the 4th China International Import Expo (CIIE) in east China's Shanghai, Nov. 5, 2021. (Xinhua/Li Xiang)
by Xinhua writer Liu Yanan
NEW YORK, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- The international business community continues its interest in opportunities in China, as the Asian country is committed to expanding opening-up and fostering a business environment that is market-orientated, law-based and up to international standards.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the disinformation campaign targeting China, international businesses have not lost sight of the soundness of and the long-term growth prospect for the Chinese market, said John Pang, a senior fellow with Bard College in New York.
Last year saw record levels of foreign direct investment into China and the trend has continued this year, Pang told Xinhua in an interview via email on Thursday.
"China is the most important driver for the sustainable, well-governed and inclusive growth of the global economy. No other country has so closely integrated social and environmental agenda with industrial policy to deliver on all three fronts," said Pang, who has worked on policy and strategy in government, business and civil society across East Asia.
Foreign investors bought Chinese government bonds as a global reserve asset through most of the year 2021, Mehran Nakhjavani, a partner of emerging markets with the MRB Partners, told Xinhua at a virtual roundtable meeting.
Executives from Honeywell, McDonald's, Boeing and a number of other U.S. companies recently underscored the importance of the Chinese market and its growth opportunities at their earnings conference calls for the third quarter.
"China remains a critically important market for us and one where we have confidence in the long-term opportunity," said Kevin Ozan, executive vice president and chief financial officer with McDonald's late last month.
"CAN'T AFFORD TO GET CHINA WRONG"
China's recent pledges to expand opening-up and build a well-defined business environment "are not empty words driven by short-term political cycles but a statement of fundamental policy, a carefully worded set of promises made against a long timeline," said Pang.
The pledges are integrated with China's core domestic visions for common prosperity, which are supported by the aim of "ecological civilization," and a willingness to work in multilateral frameworks, including in areas of digital governance, according to Pang.
International companies with a business model based on delivering real value will find unparalleled opportunities for growth in China, said Pang.
"China is where the decisions are being made, the policies being coordinated, the costs being paid, to create the environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive economy that the world needs," Pang added.
"The international business community cannot afford to get China wrong. As the current supply chain breakdown in the United States shows, we're tightly connected, and China is a very big cog in the machine of the global economy," Pang told Xinhua.
Investors with a long-term horizon should invest in both China and the United States and gain exposure to the two largest and vastly different economies with different growth opportunities and sectoral trends, said Solita Marcelli, chief investment officer for the Americas at UBS Global Wealth Management.
The U.S. and Chinese economies "are deeply linked and decoupling them would come at a considerable cost," she said.