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Investing in China, Part I: Harvest Time

By Li Zhenyu (People's Daily Online)

14:09, November 19, 2012

The past decade saw MNCs reap pots of gold from the lucrative Chinese market

Harvest Time (Photo/China Daily)

For the past decade, China has grown to become one of the world's top investment destinations. Multinational corporations not only witnessed China's miraculous economic growth, but also reaped substantial profits from it.

The huge Chinese market, abundant resources and increasingly friendlier business environment have made China a sustained growth engine for multinational corporations.

A Golden Market

"I think China is probably more important than anywhere else in the world," said Charlie Denson, president of Nike Brand, an affiliate of Nike Inc, the world's leading sportswear and equipment supplier.

For the past decade, the Chinese market has become one of the most important markets for almost every ambitious multinational corporation.

"China has become more and more attractive to foreign investors since its entry into the WTO more than 10 years ago," said Ronald Christie, senior vice president of Novo Nordisk, a world leading company in diabetes care and healthcare.

"China's WTO accession has opened doors wide for foreign investors to access the world's largest emerging and most potential market."

With more than 1.3 billion people and increasing consumer demand, the Chinese market has been known for its huge capacity and limitless potential.

"In China, a city might be as large as a country in other parts of the world," said Ralph Haupter, CEO of Microsoft's Greater China Region.

China's total retail sales of consumer goods increased from nearly 3.8 trillion yuan in 2001 to more than 18 trillion yuan in 2011, an increase of more than four-fold, and are still growing.

The alluring part of the Chinese market is not only its vast size.

"The important thing is that the Chinese market is really maturing," said Brenda Lei Foster, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

"The Chinese market has become more transparent, more secure and more predictable," said Dominique Pouliquen, CEO of Alstom China.

Like many other senior executives of multinational corporations, Pouliquen repeatedly stressed the importance of the Chinese market.

Zhang Yaqin, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft and Chairman of Microsoft Asia-Pacific Research and Development Group, called China "the second home of Microsoft," saying that China is not just a market, a R&D and talents center to Microsoft, but the second home and headquarters.

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