AmCham South China Chairman on Foreign Direct Investment Trends – This is Shanghai

game theory is a regular series where we speak with a professional with insight into China’s business and technology scene.

With three decades of experience connecting foreign companies to the Chinese market, Dr. Harley Seedin is a trusted source for U.S.-China economic and trade policy.

We reached out to Seedin to learn more about cross-border e-commerce developments in Guangzhou, foreign direct investment trends in China, and the latest updates on the AmCham South China community.

How do you rate the current cross-border e-commerce (CBEC) industry in Guangzhou?
I would say it has great potential and competitive advantages. First, COVID-19 has definitely changed the way people do business. A combination of factors, including changing global trade policies, cancellation of orders and a decrease in international logistics capacity, have posed enormous challenges to the traditional foreign trade industry, but at the same time presents d ‘huge opportunities for the cross-border e-commerce industry. .

Second, Guangzhou reached an import and export volume of RMB 6.51 billion ($917.4 million) through Guangzhou customs management platforms for cross-border e-commerce in the first quarter of 2020, thus surpassing other Chinese cities for cross-border trade. -cross-border e-commerce. AmCham South China’s Bilingual 2021 Special report on the state of affairs in Guangzhou shows that Guangzhou has intensified its efforts to optimize its business environment with the aim of creating the best investment destination for global companies.

“A large majority of companies still have plans to expand into China over the next three years”

Examples abound that Guangzhou has launched a series of policies and announced specific measures to boost market vitality and improve trade facilitation. It is also important to note that the Guangzhou Municipal Bureau of Commerce has issued The different measures on March 30, 2021, making Guangzhou the first city in China to issue special policies to help drive the innovative development of cross-border e-commerce.

Therefore, it can be said without hesitation that it is a thriving industry with huge potential and substantial benefits.

Dr. Harley Seedin, President of AmCham China South

What kind of impact do you think The different measures deployed by the trade office may have to further develop this industry?
The Trade Office Multiple measurement would certainly contribute to accelerating the innovative development of cross-border e-commerce in five aspects: namely the business environment, the main players in the market, the capacity for innovation, the international marketing network and the training of professionals.

We know that cross-border e-commerce B2B export goods inspection will be prioritized, financial support will be increased to help CBEC businesses, online dispute resolution (ODR) platform will be set up to settle disputes related to CBEC, and the world’s high level of quality capital will be provided to facilitate the development of local CBEC industry, etc.

Needless to say, Guangzhou thoroughly promotes the cross-border e-commerce industry. And I have every reason to be optimistic about this booming industry with the supports and practices deployed by the Bureau of Commerce. In addition, more than 2,300 AmCham members will certainly benefit from this new policy and the evolution of the industry.

China led all other countries in foreign direct investment in a year that saw global FDI fall by 42% and recorded impressive inflows so far this year. What is your outlook for the rest of 2021?
I am confident and positive for the rest of 2021. In fact, AmCham South China’s annual bilingual studies – the China Business Environment White Paper 2021 and the 2021 Special Report on the Business Situation in South China – show that the opportunities continue to outweigh the challenges.

Factors such as huge market potential, preferential policies and pandemic-related uncertainties in other countries have sharpened corporate interest in increasing investment in China or shifting investment to China.

Moreover, a large majority of companies still have plans to expand into China over the next three years. We know that our member companies have budgeted $18.3 billion to reinvest in China over the next three years. As the first major economy to show a recovery, China has weathered the extreme difficulties brought by COVID-19, and I am sure it will achieve more continuous, stable and sustainable growth throughout the year. 2021.

What impressed you the most about the community of AmCham South China members amid this slowing pandemic?
I think what impressed me the most was the community solidarity in these difficult times. To be more specific, at the onset of COVID-19, AmCham South China members were quick to spring into action and by mid-February 2020, they had already donated $38 million in cash. and $1.05 million in kind to help Wuhan, Hubei and other regions in need. Additionally, I am beyond thrilled to share that the 550 members and dignitaries in attendance at our 2020 Hope Ball donated cash to Guangzhou Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Unfortunately, since May 21, Guangzhou has seen many new coronavirus cases. However, Guangzhou is stepping up efforts to bring the outbreak under control and provide medical aid to those in need. There is no doubt that we will remain as strong and united as ever in the face of such a devastating crisis by helping each other. After all, we are united.

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[Cover image via Loeng Lig/Unsplash]