For Immediate Release
Feb 27, 2023
For additional information, please contact:
Ms. Charlene Chen
The American Chamber of Commerce in South China
Tel: 86-20-8335-1476 ext. 33
China’s Economy on Fast Road to Recovery – AmCham South China Study Shows
Large Reinvestments Postponed in 2022 But Appetite for Reinvestment Remains High
GUANGZHOU, CHINA – February 27, 2023 – The American Chamber of Commerce in South China (AmCham South China) today released its 2023 White Paper on the Business Environment in China and 2023 Special Report on the State of Business in South China. The release was attended by over 200 government officials, business executives and members of media including over 40 foreign consulates mostly represented by their consuls general. Both publications can be downloaded free of charge from http://www.amcham-southchina.com/amcham/static/publications/publications.jsp
The 481 page bilingual White Paper on the Business Environment in China, now in its 16th year, is a well-structured and extensively-researched volume which presents a multifaceted and unbiased account of the business environment in China. The 141 page bilingual Special Report on the State of the Business in South China, our 19th such endeavor, provides a comprehensive and quantitative analysis of the business community and valuable insights into the development trends in South China. This year 210 companies were studied. It is important to note that the gathering of the study data was completed by December 15th, 2022, shortly before China ended its zero covid policy. Therefore, the study data has not been impacted by immediate emotional impact of the policy change. The Chamber plans on conducting a mid-year study to determine the accurate and actual impact of the policy change. Both publications are researched and produced independently by AmCham South China and do not represent the opinions of the US or any other government or organization. AmCham South China does not receive any funds from any government in the production of these publications.
Over the past three years, the relentless pandemic put China through the wringer, but even with the zero-tolerance pandemic policy, in 2022 the country realized surprising achievements amid pervasive uncertainty and instability. In 2022, China’s GDP growth stood at 3% year-on-year, a slowdown from 8.4% in 2021. At the same time, its trade surplus swelled to a record US$877.6 billion, with exports showing a 7% increase from 2021 to US$3.95 trillion despite weakening U.S. and European demand and draconian pandemic control measures. FDI into the world’s second-largest country, in actual use, expanded 8% year-on-year to US$189.13 billion. Dr. Harley Seyedin, President of AmCham South China, winner of 2017 Oslo Business for Peace Award (together with Elon Musk, Durreen Shahnaz and Murad Al-Katib), which is awarded by an Award Committee of Nobel Laureates in Peace and Economics, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a severe but temporary blow to China’s economy. With the elimination of the zero-tolerance policy and further opening up, the country is now headed towards recovery and will unleash substantial economic vitality greater and sooner than expected. Our studies released today, show that China’s economy will be a crucial locomotive in promoting global economic growth in 2023.”
According to the 2023 Special Report on the State of Business in South China, up to 97% of the companies report their operations have been impacted by visa and travel restrictions induced by COVID-19. Among them, 65% cancelled international events and meetings in China, 61% cancelled all international business travel, and 29% have had to suspend their investment projects. It is important to note that companies are cautious about high-volume reinvestments (more than US$250 million) but their appetite for exploring the Chinese market remains strong. 75% of the companies plan to reinvest in China in 2023 and they have set aside a whopping US$18.3 billion in cash for reinvestment over the next three to five years. “China’s reopening will allow expatriate expert builders to return to China and help make investment projects now on hold, a reality,” said Dr. Harley Seyedin.
Key Takeaways of the 2023 White Paper on the Business Environment in China and the 2023 Special Report on the State of Business in South China:
US-China relations hit rock bottom last year but trade volume between the two major economies hit a new record high of US$690.6 billion in 2022. Less than 30% of the companies are bullish about the bilateral relationship in 2023, a drop of 13%. 8% fewer Chinese companies (32%) are upbeat about the future ties while 26% more American companies (44%) express their pessimism. Having said that, there are signs for a possibly marginal improvement in the bilateral relations, as evidenced by the candid and open exchanges in a careful and cautious fashion between the two countries. Dr. Harley said, “Now is the best time for China and the U.S. to come back to the negotiating table and work hand in hand to resolve their differences.”
About White Paper on the Business Environment in China and Special Report on the State of Business in South China
The White Paper on the Business Environment in China offers a summary of China’s impressive accomplishments since China’s “opening-up” and examines the key influences on the business environment in present-day China, such as national policy initiatives and the global economic crisis.
The Special Report on the State of Business in South China is a quantitative study of the business environment, conducted for consecutive years by AmCham South China. Each year, AmCham’s member and non-member companies participate in AmCham’s State of Business study, results of which will be garnered and edited into a separate publication.
Both documents can be downloaded free of charge from the chamber’s website at http://www.amcham-southchina.com/amcham/static/publications/publications.jsp
About the American Chamber of Commerce in South China
The American Chamber of Commerce in South China (AmCham South China) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating bilateral trade between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. Accredited in 1995 by the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington DC, AmCham South China represents more than 2,300 corporate and individual members, is governed by a fully-independent Board of Governors elected from its membership, and provides dynamic, on-the-ground support for American and international companies doing business in South China. Over the past decade, AmCham South China has hosted on average each year more than 10,000 business executives and government leaders from around the world at its briefings, seminars, committee meetings and social gatherings. All AmChams in China are independently governed and represent member companies in their respective regions.