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News from China
Indian companies bet big on China with Shanghai the most popular destination
22nd August 2019

 Shanghai is the most popular investment destination for Indian companies in China, according to a survey by Confederation of Indian Industry and Evalueserve. 

The survey looked into the investment and operation conditions of 57 Indian companies doing business in China during the period between end-January and end-April 2019.
"The survey of Indian companies working in China shows cautious optimism and confidence as compared to the previous survey last year. Most companies do not see significant impact of the current trade situation between the US and China on their business," said Chandrajit Banerjee, director general of CII.
According to the report, 98 percent of the respondents plan to make some investments in China in 2019 with two-fifths considering ramping up their investments over 2018. 
Notably, over 50 percent of respondent companies in the information technology industry and the business process outsourcing sector are planning to make additional investments in 2019.
Two-thirds of the respondents said that their business was "very profitable" or "profitable" in 2018, with higher earnings before interest and taxes than in 2017. 
Of the surveyed companies, 30 percent generated revenues higher than 100 million yuan (US$14.16 million) from China in 2018, while four of five respondents stated that their revenues in 2018 were no less than in the previous year.
As for location, 72 percent — the largest proportion — of Indian companies invested in Shanghai, making the city the most popular destination. Beijing and the provinces of Jiangsu and Guangdong are other popular destinations.
Meanwhile, 72 percent of respondents have up to 50 employees and hired more than half of their workforce locally, the report said. Of note, 50 percent of the surveyed companies have a dedicated team for government and regulatory affairs, while over 80 percent companies have at least 10 employees dedicated to business development.
The survey also highlighted the fact that more than half of the companies said China’s innovation is more favorable than the worldwide average, and 44 percent respondents believe that Chinese firms are more innovative in product/service and business model than Indian companies.
About 70 percent of the Indian companies said the key success factors are quality of products and services and operations efficiency, followed by quality of management team (51 percent), brand and awareness creation (39 percent), as well as R&D and product innovation (37 percent).
Rising labor cost, finding and retaining talent, and stricter regulations, however, are the top external challenges, according to the report, while in terms of management challenges faced by Indian companies in China, around 74 percent of the respondents pointed out "finding and retaining talent."
At the same time, more than 80 percent of the companies rated stricter regulations and unclear changing regulations as the main concerns over the business environment in China, followed by macroeconomic policy adjustments (72 percent), obtaining required licenses (67 percent), and environmental protection policies (60 percent).
Seventy-four percent of the companies said that trade friction between China and the US has had no impact on their business. Of these, 26 companies have business presence in the US.
"Enduring US-China trade war has opened new avenues for China enhancing its economic partnerships with India. This is triggering not only a continued boost for their bilateral trade but also mutual investments," said Swaran Singh, professor of International Relations at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, as reported by CGTN. 
The survey is "an attempt to continuously gauge the performance of Indian companies in China, to understand the challenges they face and help Indian companies and Indian CEOs prioritize their resource allocation to their China engagement," said Kamal Dhuper, chairman of CII India Business forum China and president of NIIT (China) Ltd.
"The results of survey clearly indicate that the deep economic relationship between India and China will continue to grow. It is evident from the growth plans that Indian companies have for the Chinese market," according to Sumeet Chander, head of Evalueserve China.
Source: Shanghai Daily, August 22, 2019
Trump considers multiple tax cuts as recession fear swirls
21st August 2019

 US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he is considering multiple tax cuts to bolster the economy that experts fear will enter into recession, a view the president denied.

Talking to reporters at the White House, Trump said he is thinking about reducing capital-gains taxes by indexing them into inflation, as well as enacting payroll tax cuts.
"We've been talking about indexing for a long time, and many people like indexing," Trump said. "It can be done directly by me."
Under the current tax policy, households owe taxes on the full nominal value of certain capital gains, and the potential change would index the asset basis to inflation, thus exempting those gains that are a result of inflation from being taxed and leaving only real value of any capital gain as taxable income.
The Penn-Wharton Budget Model's analysis suggests that the proposal would cost US$102 billion over the next decade. The research team said in a study published on March 23, 2018 that "high-income households would benefit most" from the policy change.
Trump said he "would love to do something on capital gains... That's a big deal; it goes through Congress."
On payroll taxes, the president said it is "something that we think about and a lot of people would like to see that, and that very much affects the workers of our country." Payroll taxes are usually used to fund social safety net programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
Trump was later challenged by a reporter who asked if the country can afford further tax cuts, given that it is already running some US$1 trillion of deficit. Trump replied, "I'm not talking about doing anything at this moment."
The Trump administration will have to gain Congressional support to adopt both of the two measures, and analysts believe it would be difficult for the two tax reductions to pass in the Democrat-controlled House.
Economists have been expecting a recession in the US economy to come as early as the next two years. The National Association of Business Economics said Monday that 98 percent of member economists responding to its latest Economic Policy Survey believe a recession will come after 2019.
Among these 226 respondents, 38 percent forecast the recession will come in 2020, and 34 percent expect it to happen in 2021.
Trump continued to deny that the United States is entering into a recession, saying the country is "very far from a recession."
The president said he thinks "the word recession is a word that's inappropriate," accusing "certain people and the media" of trying to build up the recession rhetoric "because they'd love to see a recession."
One of the signs pointing to a forthcoming recession is the recent yield curve inversion -- yields on longer-term US Treasury bonds dipping below the yields on shorter-term bonds. On August 14, yield on 10-year US Treasury bond for the first time since 2007 dipped below the yield on the US two-year bond.
Yield curve inversions have usually proceeded recessions. The phenomenon suggests that investors are nervous about the immediate economic outlook and demanding higher yields on short-term loans.
Source: Shanghai Daily, August 21. 2019
Hong Kong gov't to start work immediately on building platform for dialogue: Carrie Lam
20th August 2019

 The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government will start work immediately on building a platform for dialogue among all walks of life, the HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Tuesday.

While meeting the press, Lam said she hopes all sides can show understanding and respect toward each other, and conduct dialogues in an open and direct manner with people of all classes with different political stances and backgrounds in a bid to find a way out for Hong Kong.
Lam said she and the heads of the government bureaus are willing to go directly to communities and talk with people.
On the economic situation in Hong Kong, Lam said the economic figures for the first half of the year did not fully reflect the severity of the downside risks.
A raft of measures with total government spending of HK$19.1 billion (US$2.43 billion) have been rolled out to support growth and relieve the burden on businesses and individuals.
If necessary, the HKSAR government will adopt more such measures to support the economy before the release of the policy address or the government budget, Lam said.
Lam pledged that the HKSAR government will keep monitoring the economic situation, make necessary preparations and propose effective measures.
The HKSAR government will act more boldly to deal with deep-seated problems and both high-level and grassroots officials will give priority to the need of residents when proposing specific measures, Lam said.
During the past two years, the HKSAR government has taken effective measures in its policy address in areas such as housing, land and education to advance the economy and improve people's livelihood, Lam said.
Lam also responded positively to the new policy support for Shenzhen by the central government.
China will build the southern city into a pilot demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics, according to a document issued recently by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council.
The city's development toward a pilot demonstration area will also be a boon to the complementary cooperation between Shenzhen and hong Kong, Lam said.
Of all cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the relationship between Hong Kong and Shenzhen is the closest, she said.
"The two are very good partners," Lam said, adding that the two have built a high-level cooperative mechanism and are jointly developing a technological and innovation park.
Lam also said the Independent Police Complaints Council is working on an independent investigation into the causes and facts of the recent confrontations and violence, adding that a report will be submitted to her in six months and will also be available to the public.
"I hope that this is a very responsible response to the aspirations (of public) for better understanding of what has been taking place in Hong Kong," she added.
Source: Shanghai Daily, August 20, 2019
China to build Shenzhen into socialist demonstration area
19th August 2019

 China is aiming to build its southern metropolis of Shenzhen into a "global model city with distinguished competitiveness, innovation capability and influence" by mid-century, according to a guideline supporting Shenzhen. The document supports the city in the construction of a pilot demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

The guideline, released by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council on Sunday, says that by 2025 Shenzhen should become a "modern international city of innovation" with its economic power and quality of development at the forefront of cities worldwide. By 2035, it should become a "hub for innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship" as well as a sample for China to build a "great modern socialist country" at the city level.
The coastal city in Guangdong Province should play a leading role in high-quality development and position itself as a demonstration city of the rule of law, the guideline stressed, calling for the creation of a "stable, fair, transparent and predictable" business environment.
It added that Shenzhen should become a model for a civilized society and decent livelihoods for its residents and a pioneer in pursuing sustainable development.
The guideline was made public more than three weeks after it was reviewed at the ninth meeting of the central committee for deepening overall reform.
Key role in Greater Bay Area
Hailing Shenzhen an "important window" of China's reform and opening-up, the guideline said supporting the city in building a pilot demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics will be conducive for better implementing the strategy of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and enriching the practice of the "One Country, Two Systems" principle.
It underscored support for Shenzhen to play a key role in developing the Greater Bay Area into an international innovation and technology hub.
Shenzhen will also be supported in building innovation-oriented bodies in fields such as 5G, artificial intelligence, cyberspace science and technology and laboratories on life information and biomedicine, according to the guideline.
It seeks to encourage overseas personnel who have permanent resident status in Shenzhen to set up scientific and technological enterprises.
The plan vowed to deepen reform and opening-up in the Shenzhen-Hong Kong modern service industry cooperation zone in Qianhai of Shenzhen and upgrade the city's level of opening-up to Hong Kong and Macao.
Meanwhile, people from Hong Kong and Macao working and living in Shenzhen will be treated the same as residents of the city in terms of their livelihoods, it said.
In February, the central government unveiled a blueprint for the development of the Greater Bay Area, which covers nine cities in Guangdong Province – Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing – as well as Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions.
Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macao are positioned as core cities in the Greater Bay Area. 
Source: Shanghai Daily, August 19, 2019

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