The American Chamber of Commerce in South China (“AmCham South China”) released its 2018 White Paper on the Business Environment in China and 2018 Special Report on the State of Business in South China Release Conference. Consuls General and senior officials from nearly 20 Consulates General in Guangzhou attended the conference. Belink is the simultaneous interpreting device provider for this event.
The 533-page 2018 White Paper, now in its tenth year, presents a highly researched, exhaustively cited account of the on-the-ground business environment in China. The 2018 Special Report, meanwhile, aggregates and analyzes the experiences of 244 companies who participated in the Chamber’s annual Study of State of Business.
To download this White Paper, please visit
“The good news is that foreign companies are cautiously more optimistic as the central and local governments are giving signals that they will open up the market and welcome more foreign investment,” said AmCham South China President Dr. Harley Seyedin. “It is expected that all businesses registered in China will be treated equally. We applaud President Xi’s words and thoughts as we look forward to a more level playing field where we can all profit together.” The 2018 White Paper shows that so far, Guangdong government is the most responsive with the December 2017 release of “Policies and Measures of Guangdong Province on Further Expanding Opening-up and Actively Attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)”, commonly known as Ten Measures for Attracting FDI. Guangdong government is showing a more open approach toward foreign investment, particularly in attracting high-level talents.
Among many topics, the 2018 White Paper discusses the impact of foreign-invested enterprises on China’s economy. For example, foreign companies help generate one-third of China’s GDP and over one-quarter of its employment. U.S. companies and their ripple effects through China’s economy contribute more than 180 times the value of the usual measure of USFDI inflow, and 11 times the net profit of U.S. firms, to China’s GDP each year.
Before we went into the briefing on the Special Report, U.S. Consul General Charles Bennett presented Corporate Leadership Award to our generous charity sponsors this year. He then addressed the opening remarks for the briefing session.
With quantative statistics and graphs, Dr. Harley Seyedin briefed many Consuls General and keen attendants on this year's findings.
The 2018 Special Report demonstrates that China remains popular for international investment due to its potential for global market growth. For most of the respondents (53.3 percent), China accounted for the top spot in their global investment plans. Roughly 90 percent of participants reported being profitable already with most of the remaining companies expecting profitability within two years or less. Meanwhile, nearly 70 percent believed their overall return on investment in China in 2017 was better than elsewhere.
his year, Guangzhou ranked as the most popular investment city within a list of 44 cities in China, followed by Shenzhen, Shanghai, and finally Beijing. Guangzhou and Shenzhen have worked hard to achieve the coveted top spots in our Special Report for the first time.
Meanwhile, 73.3 percent of participants reported that their primary business focus was providing goods or services to the Chinese market, while only 26.7 percent reported a primary focus of manufacturing for export. About 83 percent of participants ranked the business environment in South China as “good” to “very good”, an improvement of 6 percent, and most participants felt the business environment had improved over the past 12 months.
The increased optimism seems to have also affected reinvestment budgets. The report shows that the budgeted reinvestment from corporate profits in China by members of AmCham South China is expected to rise by nearly 12 percent with an estimated reinvestment budget of US$14 billion to expand existing operations and to capture new and larger market shares. Also, the number of those who transferred their South China reinvestments to other markets in 2017 decreased by approximately one-fourth year-on-year.
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