Foreign enterprises upbeat about China's market potential
This aerial photo taken on Jan. 30, 2023 shows tourists skiing at the Lake Songhua Resort in Jilin City, northeast China's Jilin Province. (Xinhua/Yan Linyun)
BEIJING, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- A year ago, the backlog of dead stock piled high in cold storage was a big headache for Gabriel Freitas, a Brazilian trader.
Now his main concern is -- shortage of hands.
"Our staff worked day and night during the Spring Festival holiday, producing nearly 10 tonnes of Brazilian beef daily to meet the soaring demand," he said.
China has optimized its COVID response, and people's intent to purchase is shooting up, Freitas noted.
"The new policies came in good time and are very important for all of us," he said, adding he is very optimistic about the potential and vitality of the Chinese consumer market.
Freitas's experience is just one example illustrating the resurgent consumer market in China.
During the just-concluded week-long Spring Festival holiday, sales revenue of China's consumption-related sectors rose 12.2 percent from last year's figure for the same holiday period, data from the State Taxation Administration showed.
A plan to expand domestic demand issued in December last year by the State Council underlined China's status as the second largest commodity consumption market in the world.
It also specified that with China's economic emphasis transiting from high growth to high quality, bolstering domestic demand is also a pragmatic path toward the goal of satisfying people's yearning for a better life.
The bustling scenes during the Chinese New Year holiday this year sent a positive message to foreign businesspeople like Freitas.
Ice-and-snow tourism, for example, witnessed explosive growth this winter.
During the Spring Festival holiday, many ice rinks and ski resorts were packed with crowds, and the ice-and-snow carnivals enjoyed great popularity.
"The consumption fever of ice-and-snow tours reflects a constantly improving consumption confidence, which is sure to provide us many business opportunities," noted Shen Yumei, director of TechnoAlpin China market. TechnoAlpin is a leading supplier of snowmaking equipment headquartered in Bolzano, Italy.
The fast-expanding ice-and-snow industry has also bred multiple niche markets, with an ever-growing number of winter sports enthusiasts displaying an increasingly diversified demand.
In addition to outdoor skiing, the rise of indoor skiing, skating and related activities is pushing us to further raise quality, said Shen, adding that the company expects the market to continue to swell, given a pro-winter tourism policy after the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
With more cross-border air routes resuming services, more Chinese are planning trips overseas, which Sun Yueyi, regional general manager of Cathay Pacific Airways China, has seen very clearly.
Passengers made 2.88 million trips through China's entry and exit frontier inspection stations during the 2023 Spring Festival holiday.
This amounted to a stunning year-on-year increase of 120.5 percent, the National Immigration Administration said.
"All of us are on the go recently to increase the frequency of flights," Sun said.
The Hong Kong-based airline currently provides passenger flight services to and from nearly 60 destinations around the world, which has more than doubled from 29 in early January. Sun expects the figure to return to the pre-pandemic level by the end of 2024.
"I'm full of confidence. We're very much looking forward to offering more convenient and efficient travel services for passengers traveling to or stopping in Hong Kong," Sun added.