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BRICS entrepreneurs pursue dreams in China

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-08-18 13:18

BEIJING - After Russian businessman Igor Gorshkov visited the Chinese border city of Suifenhe last year, he opened a Russian sausage factory there in May and its products are becoming very popular with Chinese consumers.

Knowing that there is a huge market potential for Russian sausages in China and that Suifenhe provides preferential policies for foreign start-ups, Gorshkov and his friend Andrei Azarnov opened their factory on "Russian Startup Street" in the city in Northeast China's Heilongjiang province.

The company enjoys free rent for three years and a "one-stop" business registration service. "Our business has been developing smoothly," said Azarnov.

Their products have been sold to many parts of north China including Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Jilin and Shandong provinces. The street is home to 19 Russian businesses, with more to be opened.

As one of the five BRICS countries, China remains attractive to foreign investors given its huge market and eye-catching economic growth.

Like Gorshkov and Azarnov, many entrepreneurs from BRICS countries have been attracted to China to pursue their dreams, hoping for closer cooperation between the five member nations.

Easier business environment 

"The biggest motivation [to come to China] was the huge Chinese consumer market, a powerful market with strong economic growth," said Moises Oliveira, CEO of Guangzhou China-Brazil Commerce Co. Ltd.

Oliveira first visited China in 2010 to attend the Canton Fair in the southern Guangdong province, to learn about selling Chinese commodities in Brazil. He has attended the trade fair every year since.

In May last year, he founded his company with five partners.

"We saw a great opportunity in the Chinese market. We are here with a long-term vision," Oliveira said.

"We continue to take Chinese-made products to serve our customers in Brazil and now the Chinese have the opportunity to buy the best from Brazil," he told Xinhua.

Lyle Charles Laxton, CEO of South Africa-based Laxton Group, shared the same view about China.

The business environment in China is becoming easier to navigate year by year, said Laxton, adding that the Chinese government is working toward making it easier for global companies to invest and establish a business.

The State Council, China's cabinet, Wednesday unveiled a series of measures for ensuring the steady growth of foreign investment and making its foreign investment environment more law-based, internationalized and convenient.

Founded in 2004 in Johannesburg, South Africa, Laxton Group moved its Technology and Production Headquarters to Guangzhou in 2009, where its factory now has 200 permanent employees.

The multinational company is specialized in manufacturing self-service kiosk terminals for governments and corporations. Last year, the company received a high-tech certification from the Guangdong provincial government.

"The Chinese government has business-friendly incentives and policies for high technology companies and is proactive and helpful," said Laxton. "The supply chain in China supports our business and allows us to create and manufacture products that are competitive on a global stage."

According to Laxton, southern China is without question the biggest electronics production hub in the world. Being positioned in this hub allows for an effective springboard into the global market.

"The legal framework and judicial system is fair and actually works. In general, it has protected us when we required protection, which is encouraging for any foreign investor," the African entrepreneur told Xinhua.

Expecting BRICS summit fruitful 

The ninth BRICS summit will be held in the Southeast China coastal city of Xiamen from Sept 3 to 5, with the theme "BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future".

According to Oliveira, his company plans to expand business to other BRICS countries, especially India and Russia.

"I really hope BRICS countries can continue their strong ties, and maintain the cooperation among the nations," he told Xinhua.

China has undergone remarkable changes over the years. "Seven years ago, mobile payment and bike-sharing facilities were not so commonly seen, but now Alipay and Mobike bicycles are everywhere," he said.

Laxton suggested a transparent web-based tender submission and bidding portal be established for projects funded by the BRICS New Development Bank so that companies can compete for projects in a standardized and consistent manner.

This would make it easier for companies to access BRICS-related projects and promote trade and cooperation between BRICS nations, he added.

Vivek Prabhakar, an Indian who runs a travel agency in Beijing sending Chinese tourists to India and other south Asian countries, said that he expected the BRICS summit to bring more exchange in cultures, tourism and businesses to achieve common growth.

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