Global business leaders remain confident over Chinese economy
Updated: January 18, 2024 08:55 Xinhua

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 17 -- Although the global economy is facing sluggish growth and numerous challenges, business leaders attending the 54th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) remain confident over the prospects of the Chinese economy.

Over recent years, China has been an important engine for the global economy. China's gross domestic product (GDP) posted a growth of 5.2 percent year-on-year in 2023, higher than the annual target of around 5 percent, according to data from China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released on Wednesday. The country's GDP reached a record of 126.06 trillion yuan (about 17.71 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2023.

"The Chinese economy met the national target that was set of around 5 percent and actually exceeded it. That is good news for China and also good news for Asia and the world because China delivers one-third of global growth," Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), told Xinhua in an interview on Wednesday.

At a session "Recharging Growth in China" of the WEF, Zhu Min, vice-chairman of China Center for International Economic Exchanges and also former deputy managing director of the IMF, said the growth of 5.2 percent "showed the resilience of the Chinese economy."

China's consumption has rebounded strongly, and capital investment has also recovered, said Zhu.

Many large multinationals have been actively grasping opportunities generated by China's huge consumer market. Over the years, foreign investments in the Chinese market have achieved tremendous success and foreign investors are also confident in China's economic development.

"I don't think the worst is ahead of China, I think the worst is behind China. And I think we're probably going to do pretty well in the next year or two," David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-executive chairman of Carlyle Group, told Xinhua in an interview at the WEF.

"When I look around the world today, I'm very optimistic about the Chinese economy," said Joe Ngai, chairman of McKinsey & Company in Greater China, a worldwide management consulting firm. He said that the fundamentals of the Chinese economy remain unchanged amid global economic uncertainty.

Despite the current geopolitical tensions and slower economic growth, ABB Chairman Peter Voser said he remained confident in China. He added that ABB does not plan any strategy changes in the country.

ABB, a global tech giant in electrification and automation, has made its production hub in Xiamen City of southeast China's Fujian Province a flagship for sustainable manufacturing.

Jesper Brodin, CEO of Ingka Group, which owns most IKEA stores worldwide, said IKEA plans to expand its presence in China and India. In August 2023, IKEA said that it would invest 6.3 billion yuan in the Chinese market over the next three years.

Despite the backdrop of a global economic slowdown, China has achieved a significant increase in the number of newly-established foreign-invested enterprises, coupled with an optimized structure of foreign investment, Deloitte China Chair Jiang Ying said in an interview with Xinhua.

"China's development cannot be separated from the world, and the world's prosperity also needs China," Jiang said, adding that China has contributed more than 30 percent of global economic growth for many years, and is an "important engine" for the stable growth of the world economy.

During January-November in 2023, the number of new foreign-invested firms in China increased by 36.2 percent year-on-year, according to the latest statistics from China's Ministry of Commerce. (1 yuan = 0.14 U.S. dollar)

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