The economic transition observed in China offers numerous business opportunities for exporters.
Here are a few examples of promising sectors:
Last autumn, China and the United States signed an agreement aiming to reduce their production of greenhouse gases. The agreement calls for a cap on emissions growth in China by 2030. Already grappling with serious pollution problems, the country has started to make massive investments in this field, and has committed to doubling its production of low-carbon energy and to encouraging environmentally friendly transportation. On a global scale, China is one of the countries that have seen the highest growth in green electricity production over the last few years.
When the country began to open up its economy in 1978, the rate of urbanization was 17%. It hit 52% in 2012 and has continued to grow. The urban population now exceeds 720 million inhabitants. In its 2014-2016 financing plan for China, the Asian Development Bank has devoted 29% of its budget to urban development and potable water management. The central government is further opening the door to public-private partnerships to finance new infrastructures, which is excellent news for companies in the areas of real estate, construction, engineering, and architecture.
The transportation sector occupies an important place in the Chinese government’s 2014-2020 National Urbanization Plan. The Plan calls for cities of more than 200,000 inhabitants to be accessible by highway or rail. It also aims to link all cities of 500,000 inhabitants or more to the rapid train network.
As its population becomes more affluent, China is becoming an increasingly important consumer market. Salaries and the middle class are growing, thereby stimulating demand, notably for imported products, high-end goods, and specialized food items. In addition, in 2013, China became the largest market for online sales. The Chinese Department of Commerce has estimated online sales for 2014 to be 549 billion CAD, and has forecasted them to reach 1.25 trillion CAD in 2019.
Even though China has undertaken a transition towards more of a knowledge-based economy, the natural resources and agriculture sectors remain a priority. It is notably seeking to compensate for the fact that the population is increasingly moving towards cities by focusing on more modern machinery, which allows for productivity gains.