China’s growth slowdown is normal as it is going through an economic transformation period, with the transition offering new opportunities for foreign firms, an official from the German Chamber of Commerce has told Xinhua.
“We expect general growth to slow which is a natural economic development when the reference base is increasing. The switch from a rapid to a more sustainable economic progress in China is the right course,” said Alexandra Voss, executive chairwoman of the German Chamber of Commerce, North China, on Monday evening during an interview.
China is heading in the right direction by rebalancing its economy and slowly introducing consumption as one of the main economic drivers in addition to exports and large-scale investments in infrastructure development like highways and housing, she added.
There are about 4,500 German companies operating in China. Of these, 60 percent are members of the German chamber. In 2013, 400,000 people in China were employed by German companies.
According to the organization’s annual Business Confidence Survey, members of the German chamber are very positive about their business forecast in the coming years. In 2012, 22.4 percent of respondents perceived their business outlook to be improving; in 2013 this rose to 40.5 percent, showing more confidence in the development of the Chinese market.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said during his visit to Germany in late March that China’s internal impetus is driving the country’s sustainable and stable growth, thus providing a huge market and opportunities for its cooperation partners, including Germany.
China needs “German quality”, while Germany’s growth requires the Chinese market and “China speed”, the president said.
During his stay in Germany, Deutsche Bundesbank and People’s Bank of China announced the establishment of a clearing center for transactions with RMB in Frankfurt am Main, the business and financial center of Germany.
“This important step is highly beneficial for many German SMEs doing business with Chinese counterparts by easing financial issues between them and lowering the transition costs of deals,” Voss said.
She predicted that certain strategic industries will grow and offer opportunities during China’s market-oriented reform, such as sustainable urbanization, green building creation and energy saving consultation.
The strong focus of the Chinese government on environment and energy and its decision to put more emphasis on these areas will bring great business opportunities for German companies, she said.
But Voss pointed out that German companies still see themselves confronted with a number of challenges in China such as Intellectual Property Rights protection. They also expect easier and wider market entry for foreign companies.
“We reckon that a successful execution of the reforms will ignite competition, provide more opportunities, and minimize challenges for foreign companies. Then it is only a matter of time before natural market forces facilitate more sustainable growth”, she said.