Chinese firms, especially those involved in agriculture, daily necessities and high-end manufacturing, are stepping up investment at home to further bolster the country’s economic growth, experts said.
Sustained efforts being undertaken to minimize the novel coronavirus impact on global supply chains and facilitate cross-border flow of goods and services, as well as efforts to boost consumption and build new infrastructure projects, have been the driving force for the investment, said Chu Shijia, director-general of the comprehensive affairs department under the Ministry of Commerce.
New Hope Group, one of China’s largest agribusinesses in terms of sales revenue, said late last month that it would invest 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) in the Tianfu New Area of Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan province, to develop digital agriculture and digital finance businesses.
Liu Yonghao, chairman of New Hope, said the group will seize major strategic opportunities, continue to explore market potential in agriculture and related segments, and expand its presence in digital economy, technology and finance to stay competitive.
Chen Wenling, chief economist at Beijing-based China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said: “Even though the tertiary sector, especially tourism, civil aviation, catering and retail segments, bore the brunt this time, industries relating to people’s daily life such as daily necessities, food supply, express delivery and e-commerce have not been severely hit by the temporary hardship.”
Lovefun, a manufacturer of household chemicals, said last week that it would invest 419 million yuan to build a production base in Shantou, Guangdong province. The firm said the annual sales revenue and net profit from the new base, when operational, would be 833 million yuan and 82.6 million yuan.
Unlike traditional manufacturing facilities, Lovefun’s new production base will be equipped with automated production lines to make shower gels, shampoo, conditioners, hand lotions, creams, gel water, soaps and other types of household products to further cut its dependence on labor-intensive projects. The company expects the base to be operational in two years.
The COVID-19 outbreak and production suspension after the Spring Festival holiday to a certain extent have forced many Chinese manufacturers to upgrade their manufacturing facilities, said Chen. With more factories resuming production, China will be one of the early birds to recover from the epidemic and a key stabilizer necessary for sustaining international trade growth, he said.
Sunwoda Electronic Co Ltd, a Shenzhen-based lithium ion battery manufacturer, said last week that it would invest 5.2 billion yuan to build another lithium-ion battery plant with a daily output capacity of 800 units in Lanxi of East China’s Zhejiang province.
Wang Mingwang, Sunwoda’s chairman, said the investment will boost the company’s lithium-ion battery production capacity and optimize its industrial layout in the country.
Thanks to China’s fast-growing electric vehicle market and supportive policies to promote the use of such vehicles, the company’s net profit rose by 12.12 percent on a yearly basis to 786 million yuan in 2019, according to its latest fiscal report.
Other domestic companies have also indicated their optimism about business prospects in the country, with over 152 investment deals amounting to 441.8 billion yuan being announced by big names such as Tencent Holdings Ltd and fabless semiconductor maker Unisoc Technologies Co in Shanghai on Tuesday, according to information released by the investment promotion agency of the Ministry of Commerce.