BEIJING--China is one of the fastest-growing sites for foreign investment, was the consensus at an international investor conference that brought together leaders of international funds and banks.
CSOFT CEO Shunee Yee talked in depth about the role Shenzhen will have in driving China’s future economic growth, particularly as the country adjusts to a “new normal” of economic development. She emphasized that Shenzhen, the unrivaled hub for Chinese innovation and entrepreneurship, will be a central player in upgrading China’s economy and manufacturing industry for a global era of business.
Since being chosen as the site of China’s first special economic zone (SEZ) in 1980, Shenzhen has grown by leaps and bounds. Today, its glittering skyline belies the city’s humble origins as a provincial fishing village before China’s leaders singled it out as one of the world’s biggest economic experiments. Yee pointed out the key indicators illustrating Shenzhen’s proven economic promise. Its research and development investment as a percentage of GDP (4.05%) is nearly twice that of the United States (2.7%). The results are clear: Shenzhen companies hold more technology patents than other cities in China, and the city has incentives in place to attract and retain the country’s most talented people.
“The city of Shenzhen sends you a message: you could do more; you should try harder,” said Yee, citing Paul Graham, the programmer and entrepreneur behind Viaweb.
Attendees at the investor conference included John G. Inch, the managing director of Deutsche Bank; Stephen Tusa, the managing director of J.P. Morgan; Nigel Coe, the managing director of Morgan Stanley, and many other distinguished guests.
The conference also featured panels with experts and business leaders from the Chinese side. A panel discussing the “New Economy” of China featured Dele Liu, the president of Youku Tudou, one of the world’s largest video hosting and streaming platforms, and Julian Ma, the corporate vice president of Tencent, the maker of popular app WeChat. In their remarks, they highlighted the power of China’s fast-growing middle class: a consumer class that would demand new types of services and high-tech industries and push forward a globally competitive and technologically cutting-edge economy.
Zhang Xinguo, the vice president of AVIC, one of China’s most important state-owned enterprises (SOE) commented on the need to modernize the more inefficient aspects of China’s economy by integrating technology and interdisciplinary management practices with traditional business operations.
“Previously, SOEs were large but they were not healthy…we need to capitalize our creative value and profit,” said Zhang.
Zhang also cited the "Made in China 2025" initiative, which aims to modernize China’s manufacturing sectors by integrating the Internet of Things and automated manufacturing into existing operations as a promising opportunity for strengthening China’s economy.
The Honeywell Investor Conference is an annual gathering organized by the Honeywell International Inc., a leading provider of civil, military, and aerospace services. This year’s conference was principally organized by Shane Tedjerati, the Chief Executive Officer and President of Honeywell’s High Growth Regions, and focused on the theme of taking an in-depth look into China’s economy.
Despite the grim economic forecasts of analysts and journalists, China’s economy is well-positioned for reorienting itself towards sustainable growth and investment, the conference’s participants stressed.
“Six years ago, only 20% of our investments in the Asia Pacific were in China,” said Sally Shan, a managing director at HarbourVest, one of the leading global private investment firms. “Now, about 50% of our Asia funds are invested in China. China has consistently outperformed the global market,” Shan concluded.
CSOFT International Ltd. is a world leader in localization and globalization consulting services, providing turnkey solutions for companies facing the challenges of engaging customers and markets across linguistic and cultural barriers. Recognized as one of the Top Innovative Companies in 2011 by IDC we have an award-winning international team. In 2012, the company’s CEO was named one of Fortune Magazine’s 10 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs and a Tech Disruptor by CNN Money.