AT week-long 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which concluded on Saturday in Beijing, a blueprint for China’s future development has been mapped out.
As the world economy is facing a tough situation this year, with probably tougher prospects for the next, China’s economic outlook carries global significance.
Voicing their confidence in China’s future growth, business communities worldwide believe that China’s modernization stride and innovation-driven growth will inject more certainty into the global economy.
Quality development benefits all
China will accelerate creating a new development pattern and pursue high-quality development, said Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, while delivering a report at the CPC congress.
“We must fully and faithfully apply the new development philosophy on all fronts, continue reforms to develop the socialist market economy, promote high-standard opening-up, and accelerate efforts to foster a new pattern of development that is focused on the domestic economy and features positive interplay between domestic and international economic flows,” Xi said.
Deeply impressed by the remarks, Wichai Kinchong Choi, senior vice president of the leading Thai bank Kasikornbank, said he can see China’s future development direction focus more on highquality and sustainable development.
“This is good news for Thailand and other neighboring countries,” he said. In the past few years, many Chinese high-tech enterprises have set up factories in Thailand, which is exactly what Thailand needs, he noted, saying that they have helped the Thai economy to transform and upgrade, and enhance its competitiveness.
Over the past decade, China’s gross domestic product has come to account for 18.5 percent of the world economy. It has become a major trading partner for over 140 countries and regions, leading the world in total volume of trade in goods.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, China, which has managed to coordinate pandemic control and economic development, still maintains a stabilizer of the global supply and industrial chains, and is keeping driving the world economic recovery. Moreover, its development is not achieved at the expense of the environment.
Instead, China is striving to make its development greener and more sustainable. In pursuit of harmonious coexistence between humanity and nature, the country has cut its carbon emission intensity by 34.4 per cent over the past 10 years, and pledged to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.
In the eyes of Chenhong Huang, global executive vice president of the German multinational software company SAP SE and president of SAP Greater China, China’s green development will profoundly change the global energy, environment and economic landscape.
“Chinese enterprises are using digital technology to make carbon emission data transparent and quantifiable, and promote a balance between green development and commercial development,” Huang said.
Meanwhile, China renewing its commitment in the CPC congress report to promoting a high-standard opening-up also strikes a chord with the international business community. US automaker Tesla’s success in China speaks volume for Beijing’s determination to further opening-up.
Thanks to the efforts of the Chinese government to facilitate foreign investment, Tesla became the first wholly foreign-owned auto enterprise in China, Vice President of Tesla Tao Lin said, adding that the U.S. company is seeking to further expand its presence inthe Chinese market.
German heat exchanger company Kelvion (China) has started operations in China over 20 years ago. Cheng Wenwu, general manager of the company, said doing business in China is becoming easier.
Mentioning an effective market mechanism and a convenient and fast standardized administrative process in China, Cheng said the changes over the past years have lowered the costs of companies, facilitated market access and helped firms to adapt to international rules, benefiting the companies’ operations.
Chinese modernization means opportunities
Chinese modernization, a key term defining China’s journey to national rejuvenation and another buzzword in the CPC report, has spurred a heated discussion in business communities both domestic and abroad.
It contains elements common to the modernization processes of all countries, but more importantly, it features the Chinese context. It is the modernization of a huge population, of common prosperity for all, of material and cultural-ethical advancement, of harmony between humanity and nature and of peaceful development.
For business leaders in many parts of the world, Chinese modernization means more opportunities. Jose Antonio Hidalgo, former president of the Ecuador-China Chamber of Commerce, said Chinese modernization will generate a positive impact in the global context, especially for the agri-food sector of Ecuador.
“It is an opportunity for us because the middle-class consumers (in China) are going to need excellent quality agrifood and they are going to look for it in countries like ours,” he said.
In 2021, China announced that after eight years of strenuous work between late 2012 and late 2020, the country had lifted the final 98.99 million impoverished rural residents living under the current poverty line out of poverty, and removed all 832 impoverished counties and 128,000 villages from the poverty list.
Now the country boasts the world’s biggest middle-income group — 400 million people. That means huge potential for consumption. Hamdi Al-Tabbaa, president of the Jordanian Businessmen Association, also sees opportunities in the Chinese path to modernization.
China’s consistent efforts to improve people’s living standards mean a significantly expanded middle-income group and upgraded consumption structure, which will offer more development opportunities for global enterprises, said Al-Tabbaa.
From initiating the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank to taking the lead in implementing the UN sustainable development agenda, China has always been sharing its development dividends with the rest of the world.
Woody Guo, senior vice president and managing director of Herbalife Nutrition in China, said the CPC report underlines the certainty of the Chinese market against the uncertainties of the global market, and makes foreign enterprises feel reassured about their development in China.
The Chinese modernization “will provide more chances and opportunities, not only from the growing of markets, but also from an employment point of view,” said Sara Vermeulen-Anastasi, head of group communication at Swiss technology group Oerlikon.
“We will be able to attract more engineers and have more choices of new technologies,” Vermeulen-Anastasi said.
Innovation inspires new momentum
While invigorating its economy, China has made innovation a top priority in its planning. The country rose to 12th place on the Global Innovation Index 2021, up from 34th place in 2012, said the World Intellectual Property Organization. It ranked first among middle-income economies.
“We must regard science and technology as our primary productive force, talent as our primary resource, and innovation as our primary driver of growth,” Xi said in the report.
“Everything is about innovation,” said Stephen Perry, chairman of Britain’s 48 Group Club. China is very forward-looking, as in every sector, China has the dynamic about “wanting to know where the world is going,” he added.
Amid the innovation drive, the number of Chinese companies on the Fortune Global 500 list has grown. In 2021, 145 Chinese companies made it to the list, climbing from 95 in 2012 and increasing for 19 consecutive years. In terms of telecommunication infrastructure, the country has built the world’s largest 5G network, with a total of 1.43 million 5G base stations installed across the country by the end of 2021, accounting for over 60 percent of the world’s total. Backed by technological advancement, China has accelerated the construction of high-speed transportation networks.
With the world’s most developed high-speed rail network, China now has more than 40,000 km of highspeed rail lines in operation.
Oswaldo Navarro from Jalisco, an agriculture-producing state in Mexico, has purchased several pieces of agriculture and farming equipment from China.
He told Xinhua that the seed cleaning machine he imported from China has a daily capacity two to three times that of the equipment from other countries, saving much time and cost.
China’s increased efforts in science and education will help turn scientific and technological achievements into productivity, said Navarro.
Hichem Chorfi, an Algerian businessman working for a consulting firm in industrial technology and innovation, said China shares advanced development models and achieves economic complementarity with other countries, improving the wellbeing of people in various countries through advanced technologies.
Chinese innovation will be featured in many important areas of human society in the future, he said.