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Japanese companies eye China's vast market potential, favorable biz environment

XINHUA Updated: 2023-07-07
An overhead view of people having fun on the rooftop of a commercial complex in Heping district in Tianjin in June. ZHAO ZISHUO/XINHUA

TIANJIN — Okada Yoshihide, a Japanese businessman based in Tianjin for nearly two decades, has recently been busy revising his company's production plan for the year.

Okada, general manager of Pegasus (Tianjin) Sewing Machine Co Ltd, said: "Our company's research and development center in Tianjin has gone into service officially this year, and we will develop more competitive products in this port city for the Chinese and international markets."

Established in 1994, the company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan's Pegasus Sewing Machine Manufacturing Co Ltd, a century-old brand of industrial sewing machines.

Through nearly 30 years of development, the subsidiary has evolved into Pegasus' most important production base and sales market on a global scale, with an annual output of over 100,000 sewing machines.

"The friendship between Pegasus and China has lasted for almost half a century," said Okada, who came to Tianjin in 2005.

Okada said he was deeply impressed by the continued development of the Chinese economy as well as the economic and trade relations between China and Japan.

According to data from the General Administration of Customs, trade between China and Japan reached 546.4 billion yuan ($75.4 billion) during the first quarter, topping that of all members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

China has a good business environment as well as a stable sales network and production chain, which provides ample space and solid backing for foreign enterprises to take root in the Chinese market, Okada said. "We will increase our efforts in R&D and sales of new products to further expand our business in China."

As China's high-end sewing market thrives, Okada said Pegasus' newly established R&D center in Tianjin will help the company cater to the country's growing demand for high-performance, multifunctional sewing machines.

In recent years, China has stepped up efforts to create a more favorable business environment for Japanese enterprises. A case in point is the RCEP agreement, which is the first free trade deal involving both Japan and its largest trading partner China.

Thanks to such commendable efforts, Japanese companies have remained confident in the Chinese market, and continued to expand investment and business.

For instance, Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance (China) Co Ltd has increased its capital in China by 375 million yuan this year, while Meiji Holdings Co Ltd has put into operation a new factory in Tianjin.

Apart from the improving business environment, Okada is also visibly impressed by China's rapid infrastructure development over the past 20 years, which has helped make his life and business easier.

"I am very surprised by the convenience of transportation. Now I can fly directly from Tianjin to Osaka. The number of private cars in China is also very impressive, especially new energy vehicles," Okada said.

"We have developed in China, and we have also witnessed China's development. I believe our R&D center in Tianjin will inject new energy into the development of the company," he added.