Economic experts and business leaders showed optimism about China's economic growth outlook in 2023 at the just-concluded China Development Forum (CDF) 2023, saying that China is a major driver of the global economy and a reliable supplier for industrial and supply chains.
In its government work report, China unveiled an around 5-percent expansion target for the Chinese economy this year. Kevin Kang, chief economist of KPMG China, said the goal is obviously higher than the estimated growth of most major economies.
China's consumption sector is expected to accelerate its recovery, and the country's technological innovation and green transformation are advancing investment in manufacturing, Kang said.
As the country picks up its recovery pace, and as overseas growth decelerates, the Chinese economy is expected to once again emerge as an important driver of global economic growth, he added.
Zhu Min, vice chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, believes the around 5-percent growth target is prudent and sustainable, against the backdrop of rising uncertainty in the global economy.
Zhu cited factors such as the stabilization of the property market, the consumption revival and robust investment into the high-tech manufacturing industry, which will all contribute to the goal.
Although many scholars, analysts and business leaders spoke of multiple challenges in the broader global environment, they also stated that China should have the confidence to cope with external challenges.
"China has already been deeply embedded in the international value chain and become a global manufacturing hub and a 'world factory,' as a result of over 40 years of reform and opening-up," said Yi Xiaozhun, former WTO deputy director-general.
Yi noted that multinationals cannot divorce from China, let alone abandon it and construct a new global value chain.
A set of data from U.S.-China Business Council President Craig Allen attests to Yi's view. U.S. exports to China reached a record high in 2022. A total of 77 percent of what American companies make in China is sold on China's domestic market, and only 7 percent is exported back to the United States.
Despite challenges, American and Chinese companies are extremely resilient, Allen said.
CDF 2023, which was held offline in Beijing for the first time since 2020, saw a number of political bigwigs and business magnates visiting China and sharing their expectations for opportunities rising from the country's development.
As one of the companies that voiced its commitment to grow together with China, Pfizer said it looks forward to its new strategic partnership with the Healthy China Research Center, a Chinese research advisory platform, to advance the goals of Healthy China 2030 and other opportunities, according to Albert Bourla, the company's chairman and chief executive officer.