US companies upbeat on China: survey

10:20, October 09, 2009      

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Most US companies doing business in China are profitable and many want to step up their investments, according to a new survey.

The poll by the US-China Business Council indicated that the global recession led to reduced sales and slowed investment plans for member companies as well as job cuts for some.

However, 51 percent of the 100 respondents projected their revenues in China would grow in 2009, and 84 percent said their China operations remained profitable, according to the council, a leading group of US companies engaged in business with China.

"China has been a relatively bright spot for companies in the midst of the global slowdown," said council President John Frisbie in a report.

"There is no doubt that the global economic recession has affected US companies' China sales, but the impact has been less than in other markets."

The survey was conducted in the summer, when global economic data was still looking dim after the financial crisis plunged the world into its worst recession in decades.

For the most part, business opportunities from China's massive stimulus package have not yet been realized by the majority of companies, although those in certain sectors, such as infrastructure-related industries, benefited from stimulus project spending, the report said.

Indirectly, however, many companies reported a general increase in business related to China's overall economic recovery driven in part by an expansion of bank lending.

"US companies remain optimistic about their prospects in that market once the recession has passed," Frisbie said.

"Almost 90 percent of the council's members indicate that China remains the top or among the top five priorities for their global investment plans. It remains a marketplace with dynamic development."

However, the survey cited a number of issues that US firms in China regard as problems, such as business licensing and intellectual property rights protection.

The other concerns were human resources, talent recruitment and retention, competition and overcapacity in the China market, market access in services, standards and conformity assessment, developing sales, and distribution channels.

Source:China Daily/Agencies
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