Global industrial and supply chains are being reshaped at an accelerated pace with a growing trend towards regional, offshore, local and short chains. At the 3rd Qingdao Multinationals Summit, top management executives from multinational firms and experts from a variety of sectors engaged in discussions on how to maintain stable, smoothly-running industrial and supply chains amid the market changes, as well as on how to innovate and optimize the business environment.
Currently, the global supply chain system is facing numerous challenges in terms of operation, including reversals in globalization, regional development, imbalance of resource allocation, increasing monopolization, trade protectionism and geopolitical tensions. In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed several problems with the global supply chains of some sectors, among them excessive length and complexity as well as the lack of reliability and stability.
Opportunities coexist with challenges. With the inconsistency in U.S.-China macroeconomic policies, companies can bet on both markets to offset risks while addressing the huge needs of the productive service industry by adopting digital, eco-friendly and innovative technologies globally. At the same time, the Chinese government has attached more importance to trade balance by launching a “dual circulation” strategy that can be leveraged to bring more opportunities to multinational firms.
Zhao Bingdi, vice president of Panasonic China Northeast Asia, said that Panasonic has continued investing in China partly as a result of the country’s comprehensive, high-quality supply chain system, which also serves as a key advantage in the domestic business environment. Liu Lijia, vice president at Lafarge, a global cement maker, said that when choosing an investment destination, continuity and adaptability of local policies are the top concern for the company, followed by protection of intellectual property rights.
Ding Lei, chairman of Chinese autonomous driving technology developer Human Horizons, expressed the opinion that the three most important elements of an attractive business environment are the local government’s embrace of international practices, consistency in local industrial policies and the certainty of those policies. He also stressed that the business environment in many parts of China still needs to be further improved to become more structured and science-based.
A good business environment is a major factor in helping companies speed up the resumption of work and production while addressing the challenges brought about by the pandemic.