This photo taken on Nov. 3, 2023 shows the south square of the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), the main venue for the 6th China International Import Expo (CIIE), in east China's Shanghai. The 6th CIIE is scheduled to be held in Shanghai from Nov. 5 to 10. The expo showcases China's new development paradigm, a platform for high-standard opening up, and a public good for the whole world. (Xinhua/Liu Ying)
BEIJING, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Air Products, a world-leading supplier of gases for industrial uses, has announced that it will open a new Asia hydrogen energy application and R&D center in east China's Zhejiang Province, during the ongoing sixth China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai.
"We have never slowed down our investment in China. Rather, we have always hoped to accelerate it," said Su Junxiong, president of Air Products China.
Like Air Products, many other foreign firms and financial institutions are vying to explore new opportunities in the Chinese market as they continue to be optimistic about the growth and the business environment in China.
"We're quite upbeat about the prospect of the Chinese market," James Ye, vice chairman of CP Group China, told Xinhua at the CIIE.
CP Group is one of the more than 3,400 exhibitors participating in this year's CIIE, which has attracted participants and guests from 154 countries, regions and international organizations, marking a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels.
Global financial institutions were also increasing their holdings of Chinese assets as they are upbeat on the recovery of the world's second-largest economy amid robust support measures.
By the end of September, 202 banks from 52 countries and regions had set up offices in China, the National Financial Regulatory Administration data showed. From 2020 to the end of September 2023, the total capital increase of foreign banks in China reached 18.73 billion yuan (about 2.61 billion U.S. dollars).
By the end of September, a total of 1,110 foreign institutions had entered China's bond market and held 3.3 trillion yuan of Chinese bonds, up nearly 200 percent from five years ago, according to the People's Bank of China.
China's financial opening up, which is proactive, prudent and for mutual benefit, is an important driving force for this sector's reform and development, Li Yunze, head of the National Financial Regulatory Administration, said on Wednesday while delivering a speech at the Annual Conference of Financial Street Forum 2023 in Beijing.
The country has rolled out over 50 measures to expand financial opening up, including scrapping foreign ownership caps in the banking and insurance sectors, and slashing access thresholds for foreign investors, Li said.
At present, 30 global systemically important banks all have branches in China, and nearly half of the 40 largest insurance companies in the world have entered the Chinese market, Li noted, adding that the country is now the second-largest asset and wealth management market in the world.
Following the release of China's economic data for the first three quarters, with third-quarter performance surpassing market expectations, a number of international financial institutions have expressed optimism about China's growth outlook for 2023.
China's real gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to grow by 5.4 percent in 2023, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) statement said on Tuesday.
"The Chinese economy is on track to meet the government's 2023 growth target, reflecting a strong post-COVID recovery," read the statement issued by the IMF's First Deputy Managing Director, Gita Gopinath, following a visit to China.
China's GDP expanded 4.9 percent in the third quarter (Q3). It grew 5.2 percent year on year in the first three quarters of 2023, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. China only needs GDP growth of 4.4 percent year on year in the fourth quarter to meet its annual growth target of around 5 percent.
The UBS also raised its forecast for China's GDP growth in 2023 to 5.2 percent from 4.8 percent previously, while Deutsche Bank, Nomura and J.P. Morgan have all raised China's full-year GDP growth forecast.
Thomas Helbling, deputy director of the IMF's Asia and Pacific Department, said at a briefing on Tuesday that China's future opportunities arise from good fundamentals, including its human capital and good business environment.
China has moved up the value chain and strengthened research and development, said Helbling, adding that "we would expect the R&D and innovation will play a great role going forward."
Global investors have to "be watching and investing" in China to tap into the innovation and growth in the region, Citadel founder Ken Griffin was quoted as saying on Tuesday.