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US Business Leaders Urged to Explore Chinese Market

EXTON, United States — The Chinese market is not an “option” but a “must” as nearly 90 percent of American companies doing business in the world’s largest consumer market are earning profits, Chinese Consul General in New York Huang Ping said on Friday.

“China is not the source of risk but the source of opportunity. To shut out China in the name of ‘de-risking’ is to throw away opportunities, stability, cooperation and development,” said Huang when addressing business leaders at the Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) in Exton, Pennsylvania, about 150 km southwest of New York City.

Senior executives from major multinational enterprises like Microsoft, Apple, Tesla, Pfizer, Starbucks and ADM have visited China this year, expressing their optimism about the Chinese market and their hope to strengthen cooperation with Chinese companies, said Huang. “These have shown that the Chinese market is not an ‘option’ but a ‘must.'”

Half of Tesla’s global deliveries came from its Shanghai gigafactory last year, which rolls out one electric vehicle every 40 seconds on average, according to Huang. Starbucks now operates more than 6,500 stores in China.

The Foreign Policy Association released a report titled The Business of America and China Is Business, calling on U.S. policymakers to view China from a correct perspective and strengthen U.S.-China economic and trade cooperation.

According to statistics, the average return on U.S. direct investment in China was 14.7 percent between 2000 and 2020, far higher than that of U.S. outbound direct investment of 9.7 percent. Exports to China have supported more than 1 million jobs in the United States. Over 70,000 American companies are doing business in China, and nearly 90 percent are earning profits.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai released its 2023 China Business Report, showing 52 percent of respondent American companies expect greater revenue in 2023 than the previous year, while 31 percent of respondents are increasing investment in China, or 6 percentage points more than last year.

The senior Chinese diplomat expressed confidence that Pennsylvania’s cooperation with China will be further strengthened as the Chinese economy keeps a good momentum of steady growth with remarkable resilience.

“Pennsylvania’s cooperation with China is at the forefront of China-U.S. sub-national cooperation. China has become Pennsylvania’s third largest export market and largest source of imports,” he said, adding that the pioneers in Philadelphia took the lead in opening up trade with China more than 200 years ago.

Michael Grigalonis, CCEDC president and chief operating officer, agreed.

“We were very committed. Prior to the (COVID-19) pandemic, one of our real priorities was our relationship with China, (especially) developing economic ties. And of course, as you say, that pandemic hit, and we got on to other priorities, but there’re still some successes that are in place, and things that we can build on in the future,” said Grigalonis.

F. William Bogle, chairman of the Pennsylvania Global Business Advisors, who first visited China in 1983, also encouraged business leaders to visit and explore opportunities in China.

“I’ve been to China a total of 28 times now. But every time it’s always something new. It’s very exciting,” said Bogle, sharing the photos he took 40 years ago in China.

Source: China Daily