Global Biz

US companies continue to bet on China's growth

Updated: 2011-01-17 22:45
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BEIJING - As the United States struggles to shake off the shadow of the financial crisis, many US companies are increasing their investments in China- betting that the country will continue to deliver high growth for years to come.

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US industry giants, such as General Electric, Procter & Gamble, Ford Motor, Caterpillar, Starbucks and The Carlyle Group, have announced their plans to increase their investments in China, adding up to the expanding US commercial and industrial presence in the mainland.

According to statistics by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOC), US companies had invested $65.22 billion in more than 59,000 projects in China by the end of 2010.

Analysts said China's significance to US companies had grown over the past years, as profits foreign investors could reap from the country were great.

A business survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham-China) last year showed 71 percent of AmCham-China members made profits in 2009 and 46 percent reported higher profit margins in China than their global average.

Currently, China is the US's second largest trade partner and the fastest growing export market, according to the General Administration of Customs.

Chinese customs figures showed China imported $102.04 billion of goods and services from the United States in 2010, up 31.7 percent year on year, while Sino-US trade value surged almost 30 percent year on year to $385.34 billion last year.

Over the past decade, US manufacturing and agricultural exports to China grew 330 percent, compared with 29 percent average export growth to other countries.

"Without its rapid growth of exports to China, it would probably be a mission impossible for US President Barack Obama to double exports over five years," said Zhou Shijian, a senior researcher with the Center for US-China Relations at Tsinghua University.

"Chinese goods satisfy the demands of US consumers and are helpful for the United States to stabilize its prices, reduce inflationary risks and sustain its steady economic growth," said Liu Haiquan, director of the Comprehensive Department with the MOC.

Among China's $283.3 billion worth of exports to the United States in 2010, about three quarters were daily essentials such as garments, toys, suitcases and electronic products, according to Chinese customs data.