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Five-Year Plan brings business opportunities: Overseas experts

Updated: Nov 6,2015 5:21 PM / Xinhua

China’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) heralds new business opportunities and sketches a bright outlook for global cooperation and development, overseas experts have said.

Having been approved at the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee which ended on Oct 29, the document sets targets and guidelines for China’s economic and social development over the next five years.

Sharing the benefits

Many overseas experts hold that the 13th Five-Year Plan, highlighting economic development, industry restructuring, opening up and population policy adjustment, will provide more opportunities for foreign companies to share the benefits of China’s reform and development.

“The expanded medium-income group in China will have more demands for the commodities and services of other countries, no matter high-quality food products or tourist routes,” said James Laurenceson, economist at University of Technology Sydney.

Livio Ribeiro, a Brazilian economist from governmental policies think tank Getulio Vargas Foundation, believes that the transformation of China’s economic growth pattern heralds various opportunities, and China will purchase more food products and services in the next five years.

Tang Zhimin, director of China ASEAN Studies under Bangkok-based Panyapiwat Institute of Management, said that a China with higher openness in institutions will provide more opportunities for products, services and investments of other countries.

Broader perspective

Besides the impact on the consumption field, experts said that China’s deepening reform will also provide the world with an increasingly broader investment perspective in the future.

Nicholas Lardy, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE), predicted that China will still attract a large amount of foreign investment in the next five years, and, due to the impact of structural reform of China’s economy, the foreign investment is predicted to divert from the customary fields of real estate and fixed assets to the fields of consumer goods production and services.

Joseph Foudy, associate professor at Stern School of Business in New York University, said, since many reforms of China aim at the financial field, it is predicted that a large number of investment opportunities will be generated in that field.

As China’s social security level continually improves, investment opportunities in the field of health care are to be expected, he added.

Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Chamber of Commerce in China, thinks that the 13th Five-Year Plan is a very good opportunity for reasonably promoting China’s economy to develop and transform in a more sustainable direction. Overseas experts also find business opportunities in environmental protection, since green development is another highlight of the 13th Five-Year Plan.

The French newspaper Les Échos keenly noticed that some French environmental protection enterprises have already “targeted the business opportunities in China’s trash cans”.

Australian economist Guo Shengxiang noted that there is a broad prospect for cooperation between Australia and China in the fields of renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic materials.

More benefits

The 13th Five-Year Plan further makes a significant adjustment to China’s population strategy, setting to abandon the decades-long one-child policy and allow all couples to have two children, which also drew the attention of the global business circle.

Chen Wei, director of food and agribusiness research at Rabobank Nederland in Shanghai, said that, given the strong demand of the Chinese market for dairy products, particularly milk powder, suppliers all over the world have increased their exports to China over the past few years. It is estimated that China’s new population policy will lead to a growth of dairy enterprises in China and even across the whole world, Chen added.

Douglas Paal, vice-president for studies of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington-based think tank, holds that the targets outlined in the 13th Five-Year Plan are all worthy of pursuit. He added that, if China can push forward all-around reforms, it will be able to reap the benefits of growth since it joined the World Trade Organization.

For overseas experts, the 13th Five-Year Plan not only provides a working plan for China’s economic development in the next few years, but also provides a new roadmap for the cooperation of Chinese and foreign businesses. As was stated in a recent editorial by Les Échos, “the fate of China’s economy is closely related to the fate of our economy”.