Swire: Optimistic about opportunities in China’s new chapter
China's reform and opening-up is a miracle, but the new chapter the country has entered requires changes, from which China will benefit in the long term, Ivan Chu, chairman of John Swire & Sons (China) Ltd, told CGTN in an interview discussing the country's outlook this year.
“We are cautiously optimistic about 2019,” he said, noting that even though there will be some uncertainty and volatility, the restructuring of China's economy indicates more opportunities for investors.
“We are moving into a new chapter so things need to change in a different way,” he said, positive about the longer term outlook for Swire, which is also known as Taikoo in China.
One of the key restructuring policies Chu addressed is China's city cluster strategy, including development plans for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta and particularly the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
As a multi-disciplined conglomerate running diversified businesses in property, aviation, beverages, shipping and trading, Swire has made major investments in these urban areas.
Chu believes these city clusters will grow and perform well, and as a Hong-Kong based company, Swire will certainly look for more investment opportunities around the Greater Bay Area.
The Greater Bay Area development plan is a huge opportunity for Hong Kong and also for the whole region with a population of more than 60 million, he said.
After operating on the Chinese mainland for more than 150 years, Swire has been working to enhance exchanges between the mainland and Hong Kong. The group has launched scholarship programs and partnered with the Hong Kong SAR government's mainland internship scheme for Hong Kong students to study and work on the Chinese mainland.
Chu also welcomed Beijing's measures to address investor concerns, including the new foreign investment law, which is undergoing review at the National People's Congress.
Streamlining investment procedures and regulations will encourage investors and ultimately create more investment and jobs for China, he concluded.
(Video by Xu Xiaotong; Animation by Zhang Tao; Design by Fan Chenxiao)