Short term economic issues in Europe or across Asia are not diminishing the attraction of China as an investment destination, believes José María Buxeda, Managing Partner of Salans in Spain.
For companies with a medium-term macroeconomic view it is a market that they simply cannot afford to ignore.
“China has come a long way already but much still remains to be done, notably in developing the country’s infrastructure and energy networks – there is huge interest in renewables – and of course it has enormous potential both as a finance and consumer market.”
In the current financial climate, China’s economy has clearly felt the impact of reduced international activity, but domestically it continues to grow albeit at a slower rate than in recent years, he says.
“A market of over a billion people cannot be ignored. We still see growing internal consumer demand, rapidly developing technological capabilities, and significant projects being planned.”
In the same way that Salans invested heavily in its own network across Central and East Europe, it is now taking the same strategic view of Asia, he says. The firm´s established Shanghai operation was last year complemented by an office in Beijing and this year the firm has opened in Hong Kong.
“What is important is to offer clients different routes into the country and across the region more generally. But it is crucial also to do so in an integrated manner, through a single firm network, which offers local on-the-ground know how and expertise.”
He remains optimistic that China will continue to present international investment opportunities, as the country’s economic revolution continues, but also as its own businesses begin to look more internationally.
“The crisis is certainly driving change.
We see Chinese investors now looking at European opportunities in the same way that many businesses are looking at China.”