An exhibitor promotes beer from the Czech Republic at the 20th China International Fair for Investment and Trade in Xiamen, southeast China's Fujian Province, Sept. 8, 2018. (Xinhua/Wei Peiquan)
Multinational firms attending the 20th China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) that opened Saturday in Xiamen expressed confidence in the China market and its potential.
Despite concerns over a slowing economy, China is still considered a reliable source of profit due to its huge market, industrial upgrading and improving business environment, delegates of various multinationals said at the fair in east China's Fujian Province.
"China's investment market remains large and continues to grow. Its consumer market is constantly expanding at a rapid pace," said Harley Seyedin, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in South China (ACCSC).
Noting that the chamber has participated in the CIFIT for 16 consecutive years, Seyedin said this year a delegation of over 100, including senior managers of P&G, Mars-Wrigley, and Citibank, came to Xiamen for the event.
According to the chamber's latest report on the state of business in south China, 73.3 percent of interviewed companies manufacture products and offer services for the China market, up from less than 23 percent in 2003.
Seyedin believes the reason why China has remained popular among global investors is its growth potential in the global market.
Over 53 percent of the respondents said China occupies the top spot in their global investment plans, while most foreign investment still rushes into first-tier Chinese cities where population and trade opportunities are most abundant, Seyedin said.
Seyedin said ACCSC member enterprises have planned to reinvest about 14 billion U.S. dollars this year, up nearly 12 percent, to expand operations and increase market shares in China, adding that foreign-funded enterprises have become an integral part of China's economy.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, 35,239 new foreign-invested enterprises have been set up across China from January to July, a year-on-year increase of 99.1 percent.
The Internet, artificial intelligence, and consumption upgrading in fields such as finance, culture, education, medical care, and tourism have become the focuses at the CIFIT for multinationals to further tap into the China market.
Signify is a leading lighting enterprise owned by Philips Lighting. It launched the world's first Light Fidelity technology in March.
"We are trying to land the technology in China, which is a key step for our expansion into the Internet of Things lighting industry," said Yang Lili, vice president of Philips Lighting's Greater China branch.
She said the company is optimistic about China's smart city development and hopes to make some contributions in the area with its new technology and services.
"China has always been the most important market for us. What we care about most is not only the application of new technology in China, but also to reach out to the world with our Chinese partners," Yang said.
Meanwhile, some multinationals pay close attention to China's industry transformation, and hope to find a new path into its market.
OSI China, a leading meat processing company headquartered in Chicago, has invested over 1 billion U.S. dollars in China since it entered China about 30 years ago.
"China's stable economic growth provided ample opportunities for foreign investors," said Denver Lyu, vice president of OSI China. "The central and local governments have made efforts to further open the market and welcome foreign investors."
Lyu said China now focuses more on efficiency and quality rather than speed and scale, which offers better guidance for the development of his company.
"We will reinforce industry transformation and upgrading within the company and look for investment opportunities in new areas," he said.
CIFIT, scheduled from Sept. 8 to 11, has become an effective and important platform for promoting two-way investments, publishing official information, and discussing investment trends.