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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Chinese enterprises should step up investment in ASEAN

(China Youth Daily)

16:55, March 09, 2012

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

The global financial crisis that began in 2008 has posed a serious test to the survival, development, and overseas expansion of export-oriented Chinese enterprises.

“We can never overstate the importance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to China. Why don’t Chinese enterprises first go to neighboring countries when going abroad?” said Ma Mingqiang, secretary-general of the ASEAN-China Center. Or more explicitly, ASEAN countries should be the top investment destination for Chinese businesses expanding internationally.

Ma said that geographically speaking, ASEAN countries have a combined area of nearly 4.7 million square kilometers and a total population of about 560 million people. Rich in natural and labor resources, ASEAN is a favorable investment destination for China’s labor-intensive enterprises.

Most ASEAN members are emerging markets, and enjoy rapid economic growth. The growing consumer demand in these countries has created a huge market for Chinese enterprises.

Ma noted that great support from the Chinese government is another reason why Chinese enterprises should step up investment in ASEAN. In order to encourage more domestic enterprises to “go abroad”, the Chinese government has established a 10-billion-U.S.-dollar China-ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund, and promised to provide tens of billions of U.S. dollars in loans for infrastructure projects in ASEAN countries. Furthermore, ASEAN countries also welcome investment from Chinese enterprises.

Admittedly, market mechanisms are not fully developed in certain ASEAN countries, and investing and doing business in these countries are fraught with uncertainty. However, Ma stressed that they are common problems facing almost all developing countries, and can be solved gradually.


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