Reporter Liao Ruiling

Recently, "intensive visits by foreign company executives to China" have become a topic of concern at home and abroad.

In just six days, from March 3 to March 23, China's Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao met with executives of more than 3 multinational companies, including Nestle Group and BMW Group. At the same time, the preparation of various exhibitions is in full swing, and investment activities are in full swing. The vibrant Chinese market is releasing a strong magnetic force to the world. Many executives of multinational companies said that when they came to China again, they walked the market and talked about cooperation, and their daily itinerary was full and fruitful.

Old friends are here and looking forward to exploring new opportunities in the Chinese market

"This is my second time in China in three years, and I plan to stay in China for half a month in April, and in addition to Beijing, I will also go to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Hangzhou and other cities. We will continue to invest in China in all aspects, and China's high-quality development and opening up to the outside world provide us with rare opportunities. At the recent China Development Forum 3 annual meeting, Mercedes-Benz Group Chairman Kang Linsong, said.

Like Kang Linsong, many of China's old friends who have visited China recently have a similar identity – executives of multinational companies. Many executives of foreign companies said that this is their first visit to China in nearly three years, and they are eager to use this opportunity to explore new cooperation opportunities in the Chinese market.

"In addition to participating in the China Development Forum, we have also arranged several meetings in China to meet and negotiate with business partners, hoping to take this opportunity to expand our business scope in China." Oliver Beite, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Allianz Group, said.

Christian Bruch, President and CEO of Siemens Energy AG in China, had a full itinerary to meet not only colleagues and teams in China, but also government departments and partners, "I need to understand the opportunities and challenges facing China's energy transition, and I want to better understand the Chinese market to ensure that we continue to make the right decisions in the future." He said.

The visit of foreign executives to China is backed by confidence in China, a market of more than 14.<> billion people.

Not long ago, the CCPIT conducted a survey on more than 160 foreign-funded enterprises and foreign business associations in China. The results show that 99.4% of the surveyed foreign-funded enterprises are more confident about China's economic development prospects in 2023, and said that they will continue to invest in China and share the dividends of China's development. In addition, 98.7% of the surveyed foreign-funded enterprises said they would maintain and expand their investment in China.

Let's look at the performance of China's economy since the beginning of the year. In the first two months of this year, the national service industry production index increased by 2.5% year-on-year; At the end of February, broad money balances increased by 5.2% year-on-year; In March, the national manufacturing purchasing managers' index reached 12.9%... The Chinese market, which continues to recover and is stable and improving, is injecting confidence into the recovery of the world economy.

"Over the past three years, despite the pandemic, Panasonic has continued to make new investments in many cities in China, which is a sign of our confidence in the Chinese market." The relevant person in charge of Panasonic China Northeast Asia Company told this reporter, "As China's epidemic prevention and control shifts to a new stage, China's economy is showing a trend of recovery." We note that China has recently introduced a number of policies and measures to boost consumption, and we believe that under the impetus of these new policies, China's economy will recover and develop at a faster pace. ”

Deeply cultivate China, and continuously optimize the investment structure in China

As China's economy moves towards high-quality development, the structure of foreign investment in China is also continuously optimized. According to the survey conducted by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, the priority investment directions of the interviewed foreign-funded enterprises in China are new industrialization, green and low-carbon industry, healthy China construction, digital China construction, rural revitalization, major cultural industry projects, financial services, etc.

"We have been rooted in China for nearly 90 years. Today, China is Honeywell's second-largest market in the world and the company's largest growth market. Liu Maoshu, vice president and general manager of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies Group Asia Pacific, told this reporter.

Driven by the "dual carbon" goal, green and low-carbon transformation is becoming a broad consensus in China's economic and social development. For industries with high carbon emissions, such as chemicals, buildings, and aviation, turning to green development not only faces the challenge of emission reduction, but also breeds opportunities for technological innovation and application.

"As a sustainability practitioner, about 60% of our new product development is based on improving the environmental performance and social benefits of our customers." Liu Maoshu introduced that in February this year, the 2.260 million tons/year aromatics combined plant of the refining and chemical integration project cooperated by the Group and PetroChina Guangdong Petrochemical Company was officially put into operation, and Honeywell provided a series of innovative technologies and solutions that can effectively help enterprises in the refining and chemical industry save energy and achieve sustainable development goals. "Honeywell's core business is in line with the needs of the Chinese market, and we actively combine global experience and local innovation to continuously develop customized products and services, and empower the real economy with technology, so as to achieve a win-win situation with China's economic transformation and upgrading."

"We insist on combining the needs of China's economic and social development to promote the continuous growth of the group's business." The above-mentioned person in charge of Panasonic China Northeast Asia Company said, "In recent years, China's new energy vehicles have developed strongly. We established Dalian Taixing Energy Co., Ltd. as a joint venture with Toyota, mainly providing square lithium batteries for new energy vehicles. At last year's CIIE, we also released cloud analytics services for battery asset management and battery life extension. In addition, focusing on promoting the development of hydrogen energy industry, we are also vigorously promoting the investment and application of hydrogen fuel cells. At the end of February this year, Panasonic's battery factory in Wuxi completed a hydrogen energy demonstration project with a combined cooling, heating and power, and Panasonic's 2kW pure hydrogen fuel cell, combined with solar power generation system and energy storage system, can power and heat the factory, and at the same time combine Panasonic's cooling technology to provide air conditioning in summer. This process is completely zero-carbon and provides new ideas for the energy transition of traditional factories. ”

With the continuous improvement of quality of life, consumers' awareness and demand for health management are increasing. Many multinational companies are noticing the investment opportunities.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of OMRON's entry into the Chinese market, and the Group has set a "small goal": to become the number one enterprise in the industry in providing comprehensive services in the field of chronic disease management by 2024.

"The 'Healthy China 2030' Plan has made important arrangements for the development of the health industry, and our business is focused on the construction of a healthy China and contributed to the strength of the enterprise." Takashi Higdongtani, executive deputy general manager of Omron Health (China) Co., Ltd., told reporters. In terms of helping to optimize medical security, OMRON has further promoted the sinking of medical resources by building MMC health convenience stores and moving medical-grade monitoring equipment into pharmacies closer to people's life scenes.

"Nowadays, the health awareness of Chinese people is constantly increasing, which has created more opportunities for us to develop the Chinese health market. With the further effect of a series of policies and measures to stabilize the economy this year, we believe that the Chinese market will continue to pick up and improve, and we will continue to increase investment in related fields. Higashitani said.

Build nests and attract phoenixes, and make greater efforts to attract and utilize foreign capital

Data show that from January to February this year, the actual amount of foreign funds used in the country was 1.2 billion yuan, an increase of 2684.4% year-on-year.

Why do foreign investors continue to increase their investment in China? In addition to optimism about the Chinese market, "perfect supply chain industry chain" and "good business environment" are the keywords frequently mentioned by multinational enterprises.

In January this year, TAG Heuer's TAG Heuer Photomask Project signed a contract to settle in Chongqing Liangjiang New Area. The total investment of the project exceeds 1 billion yuan, the construction of a flat panel display photomask plate production line, after reaching production, it is expected to have an annual production capacity of about 20 photomask products, which will effectively promote the development of electronic information industry in Liangjiang New Area. The relevant person in charge of TAG Heuer Co., Ltd. told reporters that this investment, the group is looking at the complete electronic information industry chain in Liangjiang New Area. In China, from raw material matching to panel manufacturing, to module assembly, all kinds of product needs can be quickly responded.

"China is one of Honeywell's major R&D centers and manufacturing bases in the world, thanks to China's complete industrial system, large market scale and good business environment, foreign companies can better participate in the Chinese market and exert their value, and go hand in hand with local partners." Liu Maoshu said.

Plant the plane tree, and have its own phoenix. This year's government work report proposed to attract and utilize foreign capital more vigorously, requiring "doing a good job in the service work of foreign-funded enterprises and promoting the construction of foreign-funded landmark projects".

Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Shu Hengting recently said that the Ministry of Commerce will vigorously carry out a series of investment promotion activities of the "Year of Investment in China", which have been launched one after another. "All parts of China have their own characteristics in resource endowment and industrial development, and we hope to comprehensively display investment opportunities and comparative advantages in various regions through a series of promotion activities of 'invite in' and 'go out'." Shu Jueting said.

"This year's government work report makes important arrangements for the service work of foreign-funded enterprises, and we will actively promote the focus of serving foreign-funded enterprises to carry out in-depth research, promote the optimization of the business environment, help local investment attraction, etc., and make greater efforts to promote the stabilization of foreign capital and expand the increment." Wang Linjie, spokesperson of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said that CCPIT will organize more policy publicity meetings and government-enterprise dialogue meetings to guide foreign-funded enterprises to deeply understand China's policy measures and enhance their confidence in operating in China.

"We will also take multiple measures to attract investment and hold a series of brand exhibitions such as the Global Trade and Investment Promotion Summit, closely communicate with embassies and consulates in China, foreign business associations and multinational enterprises, do a good job in project docking and matchmaking, and promote the landing of major projects." Wang Linjie said. (People's Daily Overseas Edition)