Optimism prevails as investment fair presents opportunities – Xinhua

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People visit the 22nd China International Investment and Trade Fair in Xiamen, southeast China’s Fujian Province, Sept. 8, 2022. (Xinhua/Wei Peiquan)

XIAMEN, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) — This year’s China International Investment and Trade Fair (CIFIT) is brimming with confidence by bringing together leading enterprises, serving as a one-stop platform to create opportunities amid of the pandemic.

The grand fair, which runs from Thursday to Sunday in the coastal city of Xiamen, east China’s Fujian Province, is themed — “Global Development: Sharing Digital Opportunities, Investing in a Green Future.” — and is a two-way effort to stimulate investment and global economic recovery.

It welcomes traders from over 60 countries and regions to attend in person and virtually, highlighting the global enthusiasm and interest in doing business with China.

Big issues such as digital technologies, green investments, Global Development Initiative, Belt and Road Initiative, BRICS cooperation and RCEP are on many minds as around 40 relevant conferences and seminars are offered during the four-day event.

PERVASIVE OPTIMISM

Amid headwinds, China has taken strong measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and stabilize the economy. In turn, China’s domestic market remains buoyant and consumption is on track to recover, fueling investor optimism for the foreseeable future.

“Foreign companies benefit from their presence in China and at the same time contribute to China,” said Harley Seeyedin, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in South China.

“What I appreciate is the willingness of the Chinese government to listen to our ideas and thoughts, and incorporate them into the formulation of new policies.”

A survey of member companies conducted by the chamber and released in February this year found that foreign companies still have strong interest in reinvesting in China.

More than 70% of the 230 companies surveyed had reinvestment plans for 2022. The percentage of companies with a reinvestment budget of more than $250 million in China increased from 5% in 2021 to 10% in 2022.

A large number of companies have reported a positive overall return on investment (ROI) in China. About three-fifths of companies consider their return on investment in China to be higher than their return on investment globally, the survey adds.

“China’s domestic market has grown exponentially despite some challenges,” Seedin said.

Nine Rivers, a wine producer, has decided to expand its operations in China by starting in February to build a single malt whiskey distillery in the city of Longyan, in the province of Fujian. The distillery is expected to come into operation in 2023, delivering an annual output of 200 billion yuan and creating many jobs.

“The opportunity is huge in China because it’s the largest consumer market in the world,” Jay Robertson, CEO of Nine Rivers, said at CIFIT, noting the ease of access to government services.

NEW OPPORTUNITIES ARE ABUNDANT

As the global economy grapples with the lingering pandemic and geopolitical tensions, China has stepped up its efforts in emerging areas such as digital trade and green development, providing attractive opportunities for global investors.

The data shows that the scale of China’s digital economy has grown from 11 trillion yuan in 2012 to 45.5 trillion yuan ($6.58 trillion) in 2021, accounting for 39.8 percent of the country’s GDP in 2021.

ABB, a global engineering company from Europe, is among many companies that have jumped on the bandwagon to tap into more opportunities in China’s booming digital market. It has been cooperating with Chinese partners in building data centers across the country for 25 years.

James Zhao, president of ABB Electrification China, sees the mega data project — “east data, west computing” — which was launched in February, as an embodiment of China’s commitment to developing its digital economy and to provide opportunities for the entire industry.

The show also saw industry leaders’ zeal for the green transition, an ambitious goal that China has long pursued.

As part of the green transition, Citi China “has been a strong supporter of environmentally conscious customers while continuing to fund clean energy solutions,” said Song Jun, Citi’s branch manager in Guangzhou.

Citi in Guangzhou provided 100 million yuan in loans to a local hydrogen fuel cell producer.

“Industries are embracing digital and sustainable transition, which has led to a surge in demand for green and innovative products and low-carbon solutions based on digital technologies,” said Wang Jie, Vice President of Schneider. Electric and responsible for general affairs and sustainable development. division in China.

China has pledged to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. This goal calls for more businesses to accelerate the green transition in a bid to improve future competitiveness, Wang said.

Underlining its commitment to decarbonization, the multinational now operates 64 “net zero carbon factories” around the world, 15 of which are located in China.

Going forward, the company will continue to strengthen R&D in China, committing to bring more green and innovative products and solutions to the world, Wang said.

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