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Dear Members,


Dr. Harley Seyedin We now put the challenges of 2021 to bed A new data protection law is changing the
as the Holiday Season ends, knowing we calculus for doing business in China, with
President, AmCham South China will face new challenges in the near future foreign and domestic firms scrambling to
Vice Chairman, American as we do every year at this time. I hope your comply. The trade war brought politics into
Chambers of Asia Pacific holidays were filled with joy and your new year US-China business to a much greater degree,
Winner of the 2017 Oslo resolutions successful. It’s time to get back with Beijing and Washington wielding tariffs,
Business for Peace Award to business, and we are counting on our new consumer product boycotts, and other practices
Awarded by an Award Committee ambassador to give us a hand. My two new that are not good for either country. Yet,
of Nobel Laureates in Peace and year resolutions are to continue to strive to be American firms are the most confident they
Economics “businessworthy” and to help enable others have been about their business prospects in
Visiting Scholar, Jinan University to give their children a better life than they, China since before the damaging US-China
themselves have had. A better life brings with trade conflict began. A nose dive in US-China
it a cleaner, unpolluted planet with peace, relations three years ago and rising Chinese
abundant food, good health, affordable labor costs prompted some American firms
education and better jobs – a better world to explore setting up offices and production
for all. facilities in Southeast Asia. But an exodus
of foreign companies out of China has not
In mid-December, a majority of the US materialized, even as Covid lockdowns in
Senate backed the confirmation of President Chinese shipping ports temporarily clogged
Joe Biden's nomination of Nicholas Burns up exports and electrical shortages caused
to be ambassador to China. Mr. Burns, a roving blackouts across the country. American
former US ambassador to NATO, served as companies are still facing Covid related hurdles
undersecretary of state between 2005 and in China. They are struggling to bring in new
2008. Biden’s choice has served under both employees and their families into mainland
Democratic and Republican administrations China, which still maintains strict closures of
in a variety of positions. His term will mark a its international borders for epidemic control
shift for the role of ambassador to Beijing, a reasons. Meanwhile, Covid travel restrictions
position recently filled by former politicians, have also significantly boosted American luxury
not seasoned diplomats. Ambassador Burn’s retail sales in China because no one could travel
diplomatic street cred is beyond compare. internationally. Low Covid infection numbers
He will be leaving his post as a professor of allowed the Chinese economy to open up
diplomacy and international politics at the sooner than other countries, including in the
John F. Kennedy School of Government. He US, and leading to better performance among
and his wife Elizabeth A. Baylies have three American firms in China than globally.
daughters: Sarah, Elizabeth and Caroline.
AmCham South China certainly looks forward
Ambassador Burns will have a great deal on to working with the new ambassador. We wish
his plate to deal with when he arrives. China’s him Godspeed. He will need it.
rise as a consumer economy has confirmed
that the once export-orientated powerhouse In spite of the obstacles, 2021 was a great year
is now much more internally focused, creating for AmCham South China and its member. I am
ample opportunities for companies looking happy to report that 2021 was also a good year
to expand abroad. China’s market has grown for our Chamber’s website and publications.
by leaps and bounds in the last 20 years, A total of 162,782 persons from around the
making the country’s economy the second world visited our website, spending an average
largest in the world. Foreign companies are of 6.56 minutes on each visit. Grand total of
increasingly venturing into China, either via 2,404 publication were downloaded including
direct investment or through cross-border 1,115 White Papers, 764 Special Reports and
transactions. There has been a sizeable class 277 Journals. In addition, online versions of our
shift in China over the past few decades, various publications were read online 28,583
and the consumer environment is far more times. More congratulations go out to our 2021
diverse than it once was. It is also completely AmCham South China’s China Human Resource
detached from markets elsewhere in the Management Association (CHRMA) HR Best
world, and many companies have struggled in Practice Awards Ceremony (BPA) winners. The
China because they failed to consider China’s ceremony was held at Westin Hotel Tianhe
evolving consumer preferences.  Guangzhou on December 15. You can read
more on page 15 of this issue of SCBJ.

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