Zhang Xiaoqiang: Sino-US economic, trade ties prove durability
By Zhang Xiaoqiang | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-06-05 09:02
According to statistics from the General Administration of Customs of China, despite the ongoing tension in bilateral relations between China and the United States, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the total volume of Sino-US trade reached a record high of $760 billion in 2022.
In terms of their economy and trade connections, they are inseparable.
According to the 2023"American Business in China White Paper" released by the American Chamber of Commerce in China, the Chinese market is crucial for US businesses to maintain long-term global competitiveness. The profits gained in the Chinese market support research and innovation for the businesses, which is key to their securing leading positions worldwide. This is the actual experience of numerous US businesses operating in China.
China's domestic market will continue to grow, as will its talent pool for innovation, and its technology will further advance. It will also establish more stable and resilient supply chains.
According to recent reports by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, China will be a major contributor to global economic growth over the next five years.
In April, China announced 4.5 percent year-on-year GDP growth in the first quarter of this year. Subsequently, several internationally renowned financial institutions have raised their GDP forecast for China this year: UBS to 5.7 percent, Citigroup to 6.1 percent and JP-Morgan to 6.4 percent.
Looking ahead, there are vast opportunities for domestic as well as foreign enterprises in various sectors such as modern agriculture, low-carbon transformation, the digital economy and the transformation and upgrading of manufacturing, as well as in the healthcare, elderly care and rehabilitation industries, which are crucial to people's lives and health.
As China works to achieve Chinese-style modernization, US companies, which are characterized by their boldness and enterprising spirit, can also seize the opportunities that are created by China's pursuit of high-quality development.
In 2022, the actual use of foreign investment in China grew by 6.3 percent year-on-year to $189.1 billion, despite a challenging situation that resulted in economic growth of only 3 percent. According to the Ministry of Commerce, China recorded stable growth in the inflow of foreign investment in the first quarter of this year, and the actual use of foreign investment amounted to 408.45 billion yuan ($57.7 billion), a year-on-year increase of 4.9 percent. High-tech industries attracted 156.7 billion yuan of foreign investment, up 18 percent. Specifically, investment in manufacturing of electronic and telecommunications equipment surged 55.7 percent.
As China continues to open up its market, competition is also heating up. Taking the automotive market as an example, China has been the world's leading producer and seller for 12 consecutive years. In 2022, vehicle production in China reached 27.6 million, accounting for approximately 35 percent of the global total. Domestic sales reached around 26.3 million vehicles, which is twice the car sales in the US last year.
In 2022, China's production of new energy vehicles reached 7 million, growing 90 percent year-on-year and accounting for approximately 63 percent of the global total. In the first quarter of this year, the production of new energy vehicles reached 1.63 million, showing year-on-year growth of 22.5 percent. Notably, Chinese carmakers have been gaining a larger market share and enjoying stronger competitiveness and capabilities.
The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in October put forward the goals of advancing high-level opening-up, reasonably reducing the negative list for foreign investment access, protecting the rights and interests of foreign investors in accordance with the law, and creating a first-class, market-oriented, internationalized business environment.
This year's Government Work Report highlighted that in the past five years, the number of items on the negative list has been reduced by 51 percent nationwide and 72 percent in the pilot free trade zones. It is one of the government's key priorities to attract and utilize foreign investment with greater efforts, by expanding market access, opening up the modern service sector and ensuring national treatment for foreign-funded companies.
As China continues to open its doors to the world, the US government should also create a fair and open environment for Chinese companies to invest and operate in the US. Chinese companies, US companies and companies from other countries are able to learn from each other in fair competition in the Chinese and global markets, achieving growth and win-win results.