DALIAN, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Despite the headwinds blowing from trade frictions, rising protectionism, and uncertainties in the world, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about China's economic prospects, experts and business leaders said Monday.
At a sub-forum of the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2019, known as Summer Davos, strong momentums are forecast for China's economy in 2019 thanks to the country's robust consumption and the salutary industrial upgrade. Ning Gaoning, chairman of Chinese chemical firm Sinochem Group, said despite the trade friction, the coming years would be a good time for Chinese enterprises to enter a stage of rational development. "Chinese firms will be prompted to pay more attention to long-term goals and research and development. They will highlight management and the domestic market, become more cautious about investment and adopt a more rational growth mode," Ning said. "After this stage, China will become an R&D-driven country, and this (focus on R&D) is already happening in mass scale in Chinese enterprises," he said. Zhu Min, chairman of the National Institute of Financial Research, said China's core competitiveness lies in its complete manufacturing industrial chain, which is now embracing artificial intelligence (AI) to boost automation and intelligence levels. "The push toward automated and intelligent manufacturing holds immense opportunities and challenges for China," said the expert. "China's robot use and automation are still at a very low level, which leaves plenty of room to catch up." Joachim von Amsberg, vice president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), also saw an optimistic scenario as China moves to a more balanced growth model. According to him, the current disruptions to the global supply chain will instead add to China's determination to develop its high-tech industry. "HUGE MARKET" While the country came down from double-digit growth to 6.6 percent in 2018, Von Amsberg said the slower GDP tempo still "adds more to global output every year than the 10 percent 10 years ago," as the economy in the past was much smaller in size. Jing Ulrich, Vice Chairman of Asia-Pacific of JPMorgan Chase, a U.S. investment banking company, agreed, saying China is now a leading contributor to global growth. Amid all the hype about the flight of manufacturers and dwindled investment confidence in the country, Ulrich observed a different trend. "As we advise many top global investors, multinational companies and Chinese companies these days, everyone is looking to invest more in China," she said, noting investors' latest focus on the technology sector as the country goes through an industrial upgrade. One of the lures is the huge market in a country of nearly 1.4 billion increasingly prosperous population. Experts have highlighted the enormous potentials in the consumer market amid the country's rapid urbanization and rural revitalization. "I see consumption powering ahead despite the economic uncertainties. Chinese people are really trying to open up their purse strings, they're spending more and saving less," Ulrich said. "People are not just buying goods, they are actually enjoying services. So travel, entertainment, healthcare and education are all fast-growing in China."