Below provides a profile of the Asia / Pacific regional market overall, and interesting facts and information about issues important to both Taiwan and foreign executives working in Greater China.
From its southern tropics to its northern subarctic climate, this endlessly fascinating country has held a prominent place in world history for over 3,500 years. China is continuing to influence the world – now with its economic dominance. With an average sustained economic growth of nearly 10% since 1989, the Chinese economy is on a path to overtake the US as the world's largest. As the most populous country on Earth, China naturally has built a strong domestic market, with longstanding family-run businesses. But recent market-oriented reforms have thrown open the country's doors to global organizations who are now vying for a prominent place in this exploding market.
The four major sectors in China are agriculture, industry, manufacturing and services. China is the world's largest producer and consumer of agricultural goods; its crops include rice, wheat, corn, peanuts, and cotton, and more. Nearly half of China's GDP is taken up by a wide variety of industries, from mining and ore processing, to automobiles to information technology. And the service industries, mainly tourism, are booming as more tourists come to see this mesmerizing country for themselves.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has enjoyed an open market economy, with China as its main trading partner. China accounts for about half of Hong Kong's exports by values, including electrical machinery and appliances, textiles/apparels, watches and clocks, toys, and plastics. Hong Kong's natural resources are limited, so food and raw materials must be imported. As China has eased travel restrictions, the number of Mainland tourists to the territory has increased exponentially, outnumbering visitors from all other countries combined. This in turn has Hong Kong's service industry booming.
Internet development and its allied industries is one of the most rapidly developing in China. The number of Internet users has exceeded 500 million, translating to nearly 40 percent of the population. And 27 percent of that figure is rural users, totaling approximately 130 million. More than half of Chinese Internet users communicate and share information via social networks, with all types of network applications enjoying healthy success.
Electronic commerce offers nearly 2 million direct jobs and over 13 million indirect ones. The government has increasingly adopted Internet user, realizing the advantages of innovation, connectivity, and efficiency. This paradigm shift has translated to greater openness and opportunity in this industry. In fact, Chinese leadership has been transitioning to a more pragmatic perspective on many political and socioeconomic issues, and has increasingly reduced the role of ideology in economic policy. This transformation has unleashed individual initiative and entrepreneurship, and enabled scored of global companies to establish Chinese operations. The result has been the largest reduction of poverty and one of the fastest increases in income levels ever seen. A strong metaphor for the future of China can be found in its recent success in manned space flight.
Changes in the economy of Mainland China have been very positive for that of Hong Kong, which will dependent on international trade and finance, enjoys a free market economy. As a Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong has profited greatly from China's explosive growth. Hong Kong is the top offshore market for Chinese currency, the renminbi. Chinese companies constitute nearly a quarter of the firms listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and account for over half of the Exchange's market capitalization. Like most countries, Hong Kong's GDP fell in 2009 due to the global financial slow down, but it has enjoyed a quick recovery thanks to swift supports by the government and increasing connectivity between Hong Kong and the Mainland. Through trade, tourism and financial links, its integration with China has benefits for both economies.
The unprecedented economic growth in China, including a commitment to sustainable development, continues to open new areas of opportunity. But it is important to remember that China's remarkable development has been concentrated in approximately the past 30 years, so even the most established Chinese companies may still be only recently immersed in the global marketplace. Success in this market can hinge on having managers who know and respect the subtleties of traditional Chinese business practices, and can then incorporate these fundamental strengths in the global marketplace.
For over two decades, Boyden has been an active part of the key business centers of Beijing and Shanghai, and their economic ally, Hong Kong. We know how to negotiate through the Chinese economy because we have been running our own business in it. Our local knowledge, combined with our international presence and contacts make Boyden uniquely positioned to find the elite leaders who can help our clients keep pace with the continuing growth of the Chinese economy.
For a deeper examination of the challenges faced by both private and state-owned Chinese enterprises, and international organizations hoping to succeed in the Chinese economy, please visit
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