BEIJING, March 30 (Xinhua) -- As China saw the hustle and bustle returning to the consumption market and some leading economic indicators rallied, many multinationals voiced their optimism for China's recovery outlook and expected the country to continue serving as a major growth engine for the global economy.
"We have seen a strong comeback of traffic in stores, both offline and online, in China," noted Mauro De Felip, general manager of Ferrero China, saying that this is the reason why he is persuaded that confidence is returning to consumers and the market is bouncing back.
The country earlier this month set a GDP growth target of around 5 percent for 2023. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said at the recently concluded China Development Forum 2023 that analysis shows that a 1-percentage-point increase in China's GDP growth leads to a 0.3-percentage-point increase in growth in other Asian economies.
Years of expansion in China have made foreign companies not only observers of the Chinese economy, but also active participants in the stellar development of the second-largest economy in the world.
Vice President and General Manager of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies Asia Pacific Henry Liu said China has become the company's biggest growth market and one of its major research and development centers and manufacturing bases globally.
"Honeywell is fully confident about our sustained growth prospect in China, thanks to the country's sound industrial system, super-large market, improving business environment and solid fundamentals," Liu said.
De Felip also recognized that China has become and will remain one of the most important strategic markets for Ferrero.
In the past decade, China's contribution to world economic growth has exceeded 30 percent on average, and this year, the figure will surpass that of 2022, according to Han Wenxiu, executive deputy director of the office of the Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs.
Against the global backdrop of still-high inflation, weakened demand, financial turmoil and other challenges, multinationals doubled down on expanding footprints in China, casting votes of confidence in the bullish growth of the Chinese market.
In 2022, Honeywell announced its cooperation with Zhejiang Jiaao Enprotech Stock Co., Ltd. to build a sustainable aviation fuel production facility in the city of Lianyungang in the eastern Jiangsu Province.
The new facility, which is expected to be completed in 2024, produces sustainable aviation fuel with used cooking oils and animal fats as feedstocks. It will support China's goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, the company said.
In talking about this cooperation project, Liu indicated that Honeywell is setting its sights on China's growth prospects in digital technology and low-carbon development, which he presumed would bring vast opportunities for the company.
Global chocolate and confectionery giant Ferrero, on the other hand, wishes to tap into the boon of China's consumption uptick.
Data shows that China's consumption emerged as a bright spot of its economic operation in the first two months of 2023, rising 3.5 percent and reversing declines seen in the last three months of 2022, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
"We are now ready to take this opportunity stemming from the rebound of the Chinese market," De Felip said. He added that Ferrero China has the ambition to double turnover within the next three to five years.