Thursday, September 17, 2009

China Update

Good friend Mr. Tony Tsai passes along great updates from China:  

Consumer Focus

McKinseys & Co.: China will become world's third largest consumer
According to a research report released by McKinseys & Co. on Aug. 21, China will become the world's third largest consumer by 2020, with over $2.5tr in personal consumer spending, just behind the US and Japan. The report pointed out that the Chinese government is adopting a series of policies to stimulate consumption and transfer the economic development focus from heavy industry and export to service and consumption.

Ministry of Commerce advises to cut import duties to boost high-end spending
Aug. 6, Vice Minister of Commerce Jiang Zengwei says that China should cut import duties on luxury goods, such as cosmetics and watches to encourage wealthy consumers in mainland China to buy such products at home rather than abroad. Lowering the duties will boost the imports of luxury goods and that will spur domestic retail sales. He adds that China should promote sales on credit to bolster domestic demand.

Ministry of Health publishes four new regulations to solicit public opinion
The Ministry of Health recently issued four new regulations, including health archives management, booking register in hospitals, complaints from patients and an electronic case history, to solicit public opinions within three days. It indicates that the Ministry of Health is pushing forward medical reform steadily, which will bring great benefits to ordinary people.

Global Business & Transparency

Wen Jiabao: China's economic development still lacks inner vitalityDuring an inspection tour in Jiangsu province, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said, "There are still a lot of unstable and uncertain factors ahead and the economic situation is still very grave, although both the world economy and the national economy are making positive changes." He said the country's economic performance showed increasingly positive signs, but stressed recovery was still "unstable", not consolidated and "unbalanced". He warned against blind optimism. He said, "The country's economic development still lacks inner vitality to counter the crisis, as policy support remains an important propellant of economic growth." Weakening external demand was also creating overcapacity in some sectors, which would be a big obstacle to a rebound in industrial and economic growth. He reiterated that the country should stick to its proactive fiscal policy and moderately easy monetary policy for a sustained growth.

Wen Jiabao: China's economy is at crucial juncture in recovery and government will not change policy direction
Sept. 1, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao meets with visiting World Bank President Robert Zoellick. He says that China's economy is at a crucial juncture in its recovery and the government will not change its policy direction.

China's accounting standards will meet international standards within two years
Sept. 10, the Ministry of Finance issues the roadmap for the substantial convergence between China's Accounting Standards for Business Enterprises and International Financial Reporting Standards. The roadmap has set a deadline of 2011. Starting from 2012, all of China's large and medium-sized enterprises will adopt the revised accounting standards system for Chinese business enterprises which is equivalent to the International Financial Reporting Standards. It has been reported that the European Committee decided that during the transitional period from 2009 to 2010, the EU will allow Chinese enterprises to adopt Chinese accounting standards when entering the European market, so they do not have to adjust their financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards used in the EU.

Reorganization and restructuring of enterprises can not neglect democratic decision-making
The All China Federation of Trade Unions recently issued a circular about further strengthening democratic management during the reorganization, restructuring, closure and bankruptcy of state-owned enterprises, in order to protect the legitimate rights and interests of employees.

Four hundred and eighty-six of the world's top 500 companies have set up presence in Beijing
According to statistics, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Beijing in the first half of this year rose 5% year-on-year. Yu Xiaofeng, vice director of the Department of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Commerce, attends an investment forum in Beijing and lists the reasons why Beijing has become the first choice for investment by multinationals and well-known foreign companies.The reasons include preferential investment policies, a good investment environment, high-tech human resources, low labor costs and simplified procedures for examination and approval of investment projects. By the end of the first half of 2009, 486 of the world's top 500 companies had a presence in Beijing. Beijing's actual use of FDI totalled $3.5b. Most of the companies are from Hong Kong, the British Virgin lslands, Germany, the US and Singapore.

China's FDI rose 7% in Aug., first growth in 11 months
Sept. 15, Yao Jian, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, says that China received nearly $7.5b in foreign direct investment (FDI) in Aug., up 7% from a year earlier, the first growth in 11 months, since last Oct. He says that currently, China's FDI policies have already formed a complete framework, and are fair and impartial. However, they need adjustments and optimization to better support the country's economic restructuring and to create a resource-saving and environment-friendly society. He notes that the adjustment and optimization will focus on investment procedures. Foreign investment filing systems will replace the current examination and approval system.

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