China Focus: Chinese entrepreneurs champion globalization amid rising protectionism

Source: Xinhua| 2018-04-28 17:08:57|Editor: Yamei
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TIANJIN, April 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese business leaders voiced their commitment to furthering economic integration at a high-level forum amid rising protectionism in many parts of the world.

At the China Green Companies Summit 2018 held in Tianjin early this week, Chinese entrepreneurs and executives used their companies' increasing global presence and cooperation with overseas partners to make a case for globalization as a source of prosperity.

In August last year, Chinese conglomerate CITIC Capital completed the acquisition of a majority stake in U.S. fast food chain McDonald's stores in China.

"From food delivery services to online marketing, CITIC has been exploring new channels to develop the business of McDonald's in China since the acquisition, winning praise from its headquarters," said Zhang Yichen, chairman of CITIC Capital.

Despite a sluggish recovery in the global economy, foreign direct investment by Chinese companies reached 183 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, an increase of 44 percent year on year, according to a report by Center for China and Globalization, a think tank.

New Hope Group, China's largest private agribusiness firm, has made extensive forays into the international market in recent years. Its feed business has entered more than 40 countries and regions, creating about 100,000 job opportunities overseas, according to Liu Yonghao, chairman of the group.

Last November, New Hope acquired Australia's Real Pet Food Co. for 5 billion yuan (about 781 million U.S. dollars) in partnership with a group of other Asian investors in a move that would connect a leading pet food producer with the rapidly growing market in China.

"What we do best is to marry our resource supplies with the demands of Chinese and global markets," Liu said. "It is easier to win the support of foreign governments when investment from Chinese companies helps boost the local economy and employment."

Liu's words were echoed by Guo Guangchang, chairman of Fosun International Limited, one of China's leading healthcare companies.

Attributing Fosun's annual profit growth of more than 25 percent over the past five years to globalization, Guo believes embracing globalization is an inevitable choice when a country develops to a certain stage.

"One of Fosun's visions is to create happy lives for a billion families, as we did in Africa," said Guo.

After purchasing Guilin Pharmaceutical and obtaining certification from the World Trade Organization, Fosun introduced injectable artesunate, which has proved to be effective in treating severe malaria, to the African market. In 2017 alone, more than 20 million patients with severe malaria, mostly children under five, received artesunate injections.

"We are proud that the death rate from malaria in Africa is declining. The application of artesunate injections is a perfect example of the combination of business and public welfare," said Guo.

Forty years of reform and opening-up have witnessed China's integration into the world, said Zhang of CITIC. "We may be tested by difficulties and frustrations, but the general trend of globalization is irreversible," he said.

Many entrepreneurs at the forum said that Chinese companies should be more rational and better respect international rules in overseas investment, and try to equip their talent with global expertise.

"We should expand international trade on the basis of reciprocity and mutual benefit," said Guo. "Only by sharing and cooperation can an enterprise obtain a promising future."