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U.S. enterprises eye further investment, cooperation at CIIE
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U.S. enterprises eye further investment, cooperation at CIIE

At the fifth China International Import Expo (CIIE), which kicked off last week, U.S. enterprises continue to be a large presence, longing for further investment and cooperation in the Chinese market.

Among exhibitors from 145 countries, regions and international organizations, nearly 200 U.S. companies are attending this year's CIIE, U.S.-China Business Council President Craig Allen told Xinhua.

American companies are pleased with the results of the participation and want to grow with the expo -- the world's first import-themed national-level expo, Allen said.

U.S. enterprises continue to tap into the Chinese market. According to the U.S. Congressional Research Service, in 2021, total bilateral trade increased by 17.6 percent over 2020, and China was the fourth-largest U.S. goods trading partner, the fourth-largest U.S. export market and the largest source of U.S. imports, when the European Union is considered as one trading partner.

Top U.S. goods exports to China include semiconductor chips and equipment, agricultural products, aircraft, gas turbines and advanced medical devices, while top U.S. imports from China include consumer electronics, appliances and other consumer goods, it said.

For advanced countries, besides China's huge market, what matters even more is that China offers high-level expertise "that they cannot find anywhere else," said Khairy Tourk, a professor of economics with the Stuart School of Business at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

As China has seen fast technological progress and "is already setting standards in many fields," the expo is "the best platform" to get information on advances in new areas such as high-end manufacturing, new materials and new electronics, he said.

The CIIE has become a "one-stop platform" for enterprises to showcase their technologies and solutions, debut their flagship innovative products, expand investment in China and expand cooperative partnerships, Yu Feng, president of Honeywell China, told Xinhua.

It's the fifth consecutive year that Honeywell, a U.S. industrial conglomerate, has attended the expo. With a long history of development in China that dates back to 1935 with its first franchise in Shanghai, it was one of the first global companies to join the first CIIE in 2018.

At the past four CIIEs, Honeywell displayed nearly 100 innovative technologies, products and solutions and debuted many of them. This year, Honeywell plans to display more than 60 innovative products and ready-now solutions that cover five areas including energy transformation, aviation, intelligent building, smart supply chain management and life science.

Thanks to the CIIE's effect as a high-quality platform, Honeywell in the past years has continued to expand investment in China and build closer ties with more Chinese partners, said Yu. Currently, all Honeywell's business groups are represented in China, its largest single market outside the United States and one of the company's most important sources of growth.

Yu said the CIIE has continuously motivated Honeywell to "turn exhibits into commodities" and "turn exhibitors into investors."

Echoing Yu's remark, Tourk said the expo has brought buyers and sellers together and gives them firsthand knowledge on investment opportunities.

U.S. enterprises also value the stability and predictability of the Chinese economy. "It is enjoying steady, positive growth, a stable currency, a financially strong foundation. That's why it is a very attractive country to invest in," said Tourk.

Taking the CIIE as an opportunity, Honeywell, one of the world's top 500 companies, established in 2020 a wholly-owned subsidiary in the central Chinese city of Wuhan as its headquarters for mass-mid segment business in China, which reflects the company's long-term determination to develop in China, Yu said.

"China is a significant market for our international business and having a presence at CIIE demonstrates our commitment to our stakeholders and valued partnerships here," said Jason Smith, senior vice president of Allergan Aesthetics, a pharmaceutical company in medical aesthetics headquartered in the United States.

After attending the expo last November for the first time, Allergan Aesthetics decided to build an innovation center in Shanghai, which was launched in September with an aim to train 2,000 healthcare professionals every year.

"Allergan Aesthetics has maintained a great momentum of development for more than 10 years since it entered China, and in recent years has rapidly become one of the important growth engines in the Asia-Pacific region and even the global business," said White Wang, the company's area vice president of Japan and Asia-Pacific.

With more and more enterprises across the world showing interest, the expo has manifested China's opening-up across more areas and in greater depth. As the report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held last month has said, China has become a major trading partner for more than 140 countries and regions, it leads the world in total volume of trade in goods, and it is a major destination for global investment and a leading country in outbound investment.

China is doing its best to keep its market open and attract foreign investment, like removing foreign ownership caps on some financial sectors, Tourk said.

"What China has proposed is a different type of globalization; that is the globalization based on development. It points to a direction that is to create prosperity for all of mankind," said William Jones, Washington bureau chief of the U.S. publication Executive Intelligence Review.

XinhuaGu Yetao

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