AmCham China expects new opportunities in Shandong

(| Updated : 2021-07-15

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The Second Qingdao Multinationals Summit is scheduled to be held from July 15 to 16 in Qingdao, Shandong province.

Gregory Gilligan, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham China), talked about the summit in an interview with China Daily.

Q: This will be the second time that the summit has been held. How do American multinational companies view the summit? What are you looking forward to most at this summit?

A: The summit established a communication platform between multinational companies and the Chinese government, as well as broadened the communication channels between the local government and multinational companies.

The adjustment of the global industrial chain that this year's summit is focusing on is also a problem that many of our member companies are now very concerned about. We look forward to this summit to sort out the role of multinational companies in building a new structure and the opportunities this new structure can provide for member companies.

As an old friend of local people, I also wish that this grand event will bring new development opportunities to Shandong. On behalf of AmCham China and myself, I sincerely wish the summit a complete success.

Q: The relationship between China and the US has become increasgly uncertain due to well-known reasons. How do American multinational companies view their cooperation with China and how do they view economic and trade development trends between the two countries?

A: We have to admit that the current Sino-US relations are in a challenging period, and some of the bilateral frictions will exist for a long time. We need to recognize reality, try to resolve contradictions, and create a favorable environment for the development of Sino-US commerce as much as possible.

The economies of both sides are gradually recovering and coming out of the gloom of the epidemic. Next, the two sides should start with common problems in the fields of public health, climate change, carbon neutrality, and humanities, actively promote exchanges, make up for the "cognitive jet lag," and achieve reciprocal cooperation with mutually beneficial results.

The American Chamber of Commerce in China has always believed that healthy and mutually beneficial commercial relations are the ballast and propeller for Sino-US relations. We will remain committed to serving as a bridge between China and the US in the next hundred years, and to enhancing and strengthening the commercial ties between the two sides.

Q: In the post-epidemic period, uncertainties and unstable factors have increased significantly. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing multinational companies?

A: According to the latest 2021 China Business Climate Survey Report released by AmCham China in March this year, tensions in bilateral relations, rising labor costs, an inconsistent regulatory environment, increasing competitiveness of private Chinese companies and concerns over data security are the top challenges facing our member companies.

Q: As we know, Shandong is a major open coastal province in China. How does the American Chamber of Commerce in China view the development of Shandong? How do American multinational companies view Shandong? Is there any willingness to invest further in Shandong?

A: AmCham China has a long history of cooperation with Shandong. As the third largest economy in China and the 16th largest economy in the world, Shandong has a considerable scale of investment by American companies in China.

In 2018, with the unremitting efforts led by AmCham China and the Shandong Provincial Government, the two sides established a closer cooperation mechanism, with plans to build Shandong into one of the strategic growth pillars for American companies in China. In 2019, AmCham China was invited to become a strategic partner of the First Qingdao Multinationals Summit.

In recent years, Shandong has continued to encourage the introduction of major foreign investment support policies. For example, in order to attract external funds to invest in Shandong's top 10 industries, it introduced incentive policies for major foreign investment projects, which provided incentives to qualified foreign-invested enterprises that have launched new projects or increased investment in the province. In the past two years, a total of 174 million yuan ($26.87 million) has been allocated.

Meanwhile, we have also seen the further improvement of the overall business environment in Shandong after actively integrating into the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership market, such as tariff reductions, improvement of customs procedures and trade facilitation measures, as well as comprehensive intellectual property rights protection.