(Yicai Global) March 10 -- US water technology provider Xylem, US packaging giant Sealed Air and other multinationals have set double-digit growth targets for their China operations this year, much higher than in other markets, indicating that they are bullish on the Chinese economy as the government lifts its zero-Covid policy and rolls out measures to boost the economy.
Xylem aims to maintain double-digit growth in China, Lv Shuping, president for Xylem China and North Asia, told Yicai Global. In the past decade, the New York-based firm’s business in China has quintupled.
"We will continue to increase investment in research and development in China," Lv said. The firm’s new China R&D hub, costing tens of millions of US dollars, opened on March 6, although this was a year later than planned due to the pandemic.
The R&D center will help Xylem develop more new technologies and products for the Chinese market which it will gradually export to the rest of the world, Lv said. Of all the 16 new products launched by Xylem last year, 11 were developed by the Chinese team.
Only with localized engineering development and supply capabilities can the company better withstand market uncertainties. Digital empowerment is undoubtedly a future opportunity and an important part of our value-added service, she added.
“Sealed Air hopes to reach double-digit growth in China and even in the Asia Pacific region, far exceeding the average global growth rate of around 5 percent,” President Alessandra Faccin said on March 7 during her first visit to China since the end of the outbreak.
Sealed Air’s facility in Shanghai’s Qingpu district is the company’s largest manufacturing base in the Asia Pacific region and an important part of the firm’s global supply chain network, Faccin said. It supplies not only the Chinese market but also the Asia Pacific region and the world, and is an example of foreign investment “in China, for the world,” she added.
The Qingpu plant also serves as a customer experience center in the region, "where we can fully simulate different application scenarios and involve our customers in the development of new products,” Faccin said, who met with many of her Chinese customers and partners for the first time during her visit.
Sealed Air will continue to invest in China, Zhou Qin, vice president of the supply chain segment of Sealed Air Asia Pacific, told Yicai Global. All the equipment used by and products produced by the Qingpu factory are developed by North Carolina-based Sealed Air and its Chinese partners.
"We are confident about L'Oréal's growth in China," Fabrice Megarbane, president of the French cosmetics giant’s North Asia arm and CEO of the China branch, told Yicai Global last month. L'Oréal achieved double-digit growth in all five global regions over the past year, and the growth in China was the most impressive.
The recovery of the Chinese consumer market is expected to accelerate significantly in the second half of the year, Megarbane said.
French automation firm Schneider Electric will hike investment in China, said Yin Zheng, executive vice president of Schneider Electric and president of its China and East Asia branches. In January, Rueil-Malmaison-based Schneider Electric opened its Digital Power Distribution China R&D Center in Shanghai, and also set up a Critical Power Innovation Lab.
And there are many other foreign companies planning to expand their China operations. US fast food giant McDonald's is preparing to open another 900 stores in China this year, US coffee chain Starbucks intends to add another 69 outlets in the country in the first fiscal quarter, entering 10 new cities, and three of US meat processor Tyson Foods’ six new plants that it is building this year are in China.
Editors: Tang Shihua, Kim Taylor