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China’s Economy Still Holds Good Opportunities for U.S. Firms

March 27, 2012

This story is part of an ongoing series highlighting the information available to participants in the 2012 Asia Pacific Business Outlook (APBO)

William Zarit is the Minister for Commercial Affairs, U.S. Embassy, Beijing, China.

I’m excited to be back again at the Asia Pacific Business Outlook. Yesterday, I discussed China’s country outlook. With the February visit of Chinese Vice President and heir apparent Xi Jinping, the state of U.S.-China relations is receiving a lot of attention from both countries as we continue to expand commercial activity. The success from the 22nd plenary meeting of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) last November will help boost U.S. exports and jobs, albeit incrementally.

At the JCCT, the Chinese eliminated some protectionist policies and made progress toward better enforcement of intellectual property rights in China.

Best Prospects

A number of obstacles still exist for U.S. firms doing business in China, including protectionism; high labor costs; duplicative, costly and slow certifications and approvals; a frequently unclear regulatory environment; and poor IPR enforcement.  With China’s GDP growth projected to be at or above 7.5 percent through 2013, there is still potential for U.S. exports in many sectors, including:

  • clean energy
  • green building
  • renewable energy
  • water and water pollution treatment systems
  • travel and tourism
  • medical devices and healthcare
  • railroads and metro transit
  • aviation
  • information and communications technology
  • marine industries
  • agriculture; and
  • Chinese outbound foreign direct investment

Making Your Move in the China Market

U.S. companies need to take advantage of key trends in China such as massive urbanization, a growing middle class, U.S. export growth to 2nd and 3rd tier cities, and Chinese disposable income predicted to double in eight years.  Also, almost 50 percent of the Chinese population is forecast to belong to the middle class by 2020.

Don’t Go It Alone in China – Visit the Commercial Service

The Commercial section in the Embassy is part of a global network of trade professionals dedicated to U.S. commercial interests worldwide.  We connect U.S. business to opportunities in China. With almost 100 staff in five offices in China:  Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, and Shenyang, we also serve U.S. business in 14 second tier cities, working in partnership with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

We can help in many ways, including:

  • finding distributors and agents for U.S. exports;
  • screening potential Chinese agents, distributors, and partners;
  • promoting your firm to target markets;
  • supporting multi-city U.S. government-led trade missions and trade shows;
  • and organizing and leading Chinese buying delegations to the U.S.

Go to www.export.gov/china to learn more about us and what we can do for your company in China.

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