Optimistic Outlook: Multinationals Embrace China’s Expanding Business Landscape
Optimistic Outlook: Multinationals Embrace China’s Expanding Business Landscape

Optimistic Outlook: Multinationals Embrace China’s Expanding Business Landscape

In the eyes of business leaders and experts, multinational corporations remain resolutely committed to the Chinese market, with a strong willingness to invest further. China’s pursuit of high-quality development and modernization presents a wealth of opportunities for these enterprises.

China has fostered a favorable environment for the growth of multinational companies. As the nation intensifies its efforts to promote high-level openness, it unveils a new realm of business potential for foreign investors, especially those in advanced sectors such as electronics, healthcare, and life sciences.

Allan Gabor, President of the science and technology giant Merck China, expresses his faith in the incredible “China speed” and the nation’s growth trajectory, driven by its unwavering commitment to high-quality development through a uniquely Chinese approach to modernization.

Over the past decade, Merck has poured nearly 6 billion yuan ($820 million) into China, making the country its second-largest global market, with approximately 3 billion euros ($3.18 billion) in sales last year alone. Merck is currently investing around 70 million euros to expand its high-purity reagent production capacity and Nantong Life Sciences Center in Jiangsu province, slated to commence operations in 2026. The company has also unveiled its “Level Up” growth plan, aiming to invest at least 1 billion yuan in China by 2025 to enhance localized manufacturing, technology, and supply chain capabilities in the electronics sector.

Allan Gabor emphasizes, “Despite the uncertainties and challenges in the post-pandemic era, China remains committed to embracing foreign direct investment, continuously introducing measures and policies that facilitate deeper engagement by multinational companies. In my view, this pragmatic approach is a valuable certainty in an unpredictable world.”

China’s unique path to modernization translates into rising demands in healthcare, high-quality food and pharmaceuticals, environmental solutions, and the digital economy. Merck finds itself well-positioned to contribute continuously with its innovative products and services.

Will Song, Global Senior Vice-President of Johnson & Johnson and Chairman of the company’s China division, underscores the increasingly pivotal role of the Chinese market as an essential growth engine and innovation hub within the global portfolio of Johnson & Johnson. Their long-term commitment to the Chinese market remains unwavering.

“We are delighted to observe China’s efforts to create a world-class business environment that is market-oriented, rule-based, and internationalized. China’s emphasis on attracting foreign investment and advancing high-level openness is commendable,” Song says. He believes that China’s high-quality economic development will present diverse opportunities for multinational corporations, reaffirming their long-term presence.

The Ministry of Commerce data reveals that the first three quarters witnessed a notable increase in the number of newly established foreign-invested enterprises in China, up by 32.4 percent year-on-year, demonstrating the improved structure and quality of foreign direct investment. Although actual foreign direct investment in the Chinese mainland decreased by 8.4 percent year-on-year to 919.97 billion yuan during this period, China’s manufacturing sector received 262.41 billion yuan, marking a 2.4 percent year-on-year increase, with high-tech manufacturing experiencing robust growth at 12.8 percent year-on-year.

Justin Yifu Lin, Dean of Peking University’s Institute of New Structural Economics, an esteemed former senior executive at the World Bank, anticipates that China’s economic resilience and domestic market strength will propel it to rebound and display dynamic growth. This growth will significantly contribute to global economic development, with the Chinese economy expected to grow by 5.5 percent or even 6 percent this year.

Zhou Mi, a Senior Researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, foresees a more favorable environment for foreign investors in China as the nation’s economic recovery accelerates. This recovery, coupled with increased coordination in cross-regional development and the removal of restrictions on foreign investment access in the manufacturing sector, enhances China’s appeal, particularly for investors in manufacturing and producer services.

Leon Wang, Executive Vice-President of biopharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca and President of AstraZeneca China, remains committed to contributing to China’s high-quality economic development. AstraZeneca plans to deepen its market presence through a regional-headquarters strategy, supporting local economic development while participating in China’s dual-circulation strategy.

Zhang Fei, Associate Director of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation’s Institute of Foreign Investment, anticipates further government initiatives to increase FDI inflows and improve the FDI structure. Sectors like automobile manufacturing, medical equipment, and aerospace are poised to attract significant foreign investment.


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