BEIJING -- With the global economy facing multiple challenges including elevated inflation and the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, China's pledge of furthering opening-up will serve as a shot in the arm for many overseas investors who see vast opportunities in the Chinese economy in the coming years.
China has been striving to create new opportunities for the world with its own development and to contribute its share to building an open global economy that delivers greater benefits to all peoples.
FIRM STEPS, BRIGHT OUTLOOK
Bruno Chevot, president of Danone China, North Asia and Oceania, said he was "deeply impressed" by China's firm commitment to opening up while looking forward to the roll-out of more opening-up initiatives in the future.
Danone, a food and beverage multinational, saw its sales in China double over the past decade to make the country its second-largest market.
The company is a witness to and beneficiary of China's opening-up policy. The country has taken steps such as shortening the negative list for foreign investment, setting up some pilot free trade zones, and implementing the Foreign Investment Law.
According to a report to the recently concluded 20th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress, China will steadily expand institutional opening-up with regard to rules, regulations, management, and standards, while stressing high-standard opening-up.
These words are "exciting" for Leon Wang, executive vice president, international and China president of pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
"China's pursuit of high-standard opening-up will inject more impetus to the global economic recovery and reinforce our confidence in expanding footprints here," Wang said.
Along with unremitting opening-up efforts, an improving business environment, stable supply chains, and a bright market growth outlook are all part of China's great appeal to foreign investors who seek long-term investment opportunities.
Wilo Group, a provider of pumps and pump systems headquartered in Germany, saw its China business keep growing in recent years. In 2021, Wilo China's revenue registered an increase of over 20 percent year-on-year, which made China the second-largest single market for Wilo Group.
Lyman Tu, Wilo Group's vice president of China and Southeast Asia, said China will likely become the group's largest market by 2023.
"Wilo is confident with China's future. We have a long-term commitment in China," he said.
CHINESE MODERNIZATION, NEW OPPORTUNITIES
China has vowed to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts "through a Chinese path to modernization." For foreign businesses, this offers clues of new business opportunities in China.
Pursuing high-quality development is underscored in the report and this has drawn keen interest from global firms, including Danone.
"China's strong commitment to opening up and high-quality development reflected in the report has further strengthened our commitment to long-term development in China," said Chevot. "Danone will support China's future development through its research centers and production facilities in China."
AstraZeneca is eyeing business growth generated from China's efforts to spur innovation, which the report said will remain at the heart of China's modernization drive.
The company now has over 150 R&D projects in China, according to Wang. "China is not only AstraZeneca's second-largest market in the world but an important link to its global innovation network and pharmaceutical supply chain as well."
Foreign enterprises were also encouraged to ride the waves of China's green transition as China underlined harmony between humanity and nature in Chinese modernization and pledged to boost green and low-carbon industries.
Danfoss, a leading Danish energy efficiency solution company, is upbeat about the green sector in the country. "Danfoss is committed to investing in China, the company's second home market," said Arthur Xu, president of Danfoss China.
Wilo Group, which produces energy-saving smart high-efficiency pumps, also looks to benefit from the green development goal underscored in the report.
The company plans to increase R&D investment and enlarge product portfolios in China, with a new production base in east China's Changzhou city expected to go into operation early next year to serve the Chinese market and other emerging markets.
"Previously, we were 'In China, for China.' In the future, we will be 'In China, for Global,'" said Tu.