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2024-04-22 | Shenyang

China's Economic Outlook After the National Two Sessions

On April 22nd, 2024, the European Chamber Shenyang Chapter (hereinafter referred to as Shenyang Chapter) and the Liaoning General Chamber of Commerce (hereinafter referred to as LGCC) successfully co-hosted the forum on "China Economic Outlook after the National Two Sessions" at the Conrad Hotel in Shenyang. Distinguished leaders including Mr. Erich Kaiserseder, Chair of Shenyang Chapter, Mr. Zhou Fuhui, Secretary-General of LGCC, along with board members and vice-presidents of both chambers, attended the event.

Erich opened the forum by emphasizing the foreign enterprises' keen interest in the Chinese government's strategies to achieve a 5% GDP growth target for 2024. He expressed a desire to deepen discussions with industry experts on topics crucial to foreign enterprises such as market access, investment environment, and expansion of domestic demand. Erich also looked forward to future cooperation between the chambers to contribute to the revitalization of Northeast China's economy.

In his speech, Secretary-General Zhou highlighted the latest national economic data released by the National Bureau of Statistics, showing a first-quarter GDP of nearly 30 trillion RMB, up 5.3% year-over-year. He noted this as a clear indication of the direction for future development and a basis for broader cooperation between Chinese and foreign enterprises.

The keynote presentations commenced with Prof. Qu Zhaoguang of the Liaoning Financial Research Center, who discussed "China's Macroeconomic Performance and Policy Outlook," suggesting a shift from real estate to manufacturing-driven economic growth. He stressed the importance of boosting domestic demand and managing external uncertainties for sustainable economic recovery.

Following Prof. Qu, Prof. Liang Qidong, Vice President of the China Industrial Economics Association, shared insights on the policy direction and impact on the economic development of Northeast China, highlighting Liaoning’s strategic objectives in the new era known as “six places”.

The third speaker, Mr. Wang Qilei, Chief Investment Advisor at CITIC Securities, focused on the transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing sector after the National Two Sessions. He analyzed government support, technological advancements, and challenges facing small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises. Mr. Wang then emphasized the necessity for China's manufacturing sector to transition towards low carbon, service-oriented, digital, and clustered industrial chains. This shift aligns with the national agenda of fostering "new quality productivity." Despite the diminishing advantages in the entire industrial chain, he noted the critical need for industry collaboration and further transformation. Mr. Wang expressed overall optimism about the prospects of China's manufacturing industry, suggesting that it is well-positioned to adapt and thrive in the changing economic landscape.

The final speaker to take the stage was Ms. Liu Yan, a partner at EY Strategy and Transactions Consulting, who focused on capital markets and briefly analyzed future trends in China's industrial development. Ms. Liu noted that the internationalization of Chinese enterprises is accelerating, with many industries seeing overseas revenue growth of over 20% from 2020 to 2022. Key sectors such as new energy vehicles, lithium batteries, and solar cells, known as the "new three," have shown significant international expansion in terms of overseas revenue growth or revenue share. Venturing overseas has become a crucial strategic move for large enterprises, with industries like new energy vehicles, semiconductor materials, photovoltaics, and sapphire leading in growth rates. 

The panel discussion session led by Erich and three out of four speakers delved into the complex international environment's impact on China's manufacturing sector, risk management by foreign enterprises, and the evolving market competition landscape due to Chinese enterprises expanding internationally.

The event offered a comprehensive analysis of post-National Two Sessions economic prospects for China and the Liaoning region, providing valuable insights for both domestic and foreign enterprise representatives to strategize and mitigate risks. The Shenyang Chapter and LCC plan to continue exploring interaction and cooperation opportunities among member enterprises, aiming to contribute to the region's development.


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Leo Liu