A customer scans a QR code for payment at a market in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia on Oct 18, 2018. (Photo: IC)
Businesses in China are cautiously optimistic for 2019 despite facing a number of uncertainties and challenges, with China's tax reform, innovation and technology policies expected to underpin the economy, an international survey said.
According to China Economic Sentiment Survey 2019, over 60 percent of respondents forecast that China will maintain stable economic growth above 6 percent this year, in spite of the rising global economic uncertainties created by trade tensions, Brexit and rising US interest rates.
CPA Australia, a world leading professional accounting body, conducted the survey among 220 finance and accounting professionals. They work for listed companies, multinationals, private enterprises and government departments.
Derek Chan, president of the body's North China committee, said the upbeat sentiment can be attributed to a series of tax reforms, favorable policies on innovation and technology, and opportunities from the Belt and Road Initiative.
As an example, the survey findings reveal that the market has reacted positively to tax reforms, with over half of the respondents stating that tax reform will be a key driver boosting economic growth this year.
The survey said businesses in China are investing heavily in innovation, with 75.5 percent of respondents expecting their company will or may introduce a totally new product, service or process in 2019. It is an increase of 10 percent compared with the survey result in 2017.
Chan said there is a direct link between the government policies and the very strong focus on innovation and technology by businesses in China.
On the Belt and Road Initiative, most respondents believe it will create more investment and trade opportunities. Over half of the respondents reported an expectation that their business will take some form of action to take advantage of the initiative.
Given rising global uncertainties, most businesses chose to put focus on cost management and talent cultivation this year, according to the survey.