Entrepreneurs from China, Japan and South Korea optimistic about Chinese economy in 2021: survey

A container ship is seen at the Pacific International Container Terminal at Tianjin Port in north China’s Tianjin Municipality, Jan. 11, 2021. (Xinhua / Zhao Zishuo)

Most entrepreneurs and top executives in China, Japan and South Korea are optimistic about China’s economic growth this year, according to a survey by the Global Times Research Center, Maeil Business Newspaper and the Nikkei.

The vast majority of respondents from China, Japan and South Korea believe that China’s economic development will show a growth trend in 2021. Respondents sharing this view accounted for 95.0% in China, 93.8 % in Japan and 81.0% in South Korea.

The survey was conducted from December 3 to 15, 2020. Topics were limited to entrepreneurs or business leaders who have decision-making power in companies in China, Japan and South Korea. There were 100 responses from China, 106 from South Korea and 83 from Japan.

Respondents from the three Asian countries have the highest expectations of China’s economic situation: 98.0% of Chinese entrepreneurs had a positive opinion of China’s economic situation this year, compared to the figure of 99, 0% for Japanese entrepreneurs and 89.1% for South Korean entrepreneurs.

According to the latest World Bank forecasts, China’s GDP growth is estimated at 7.9% in 2021. The world economy will expand by 4% this year after contracting 4.3% in 2020, a said the Washington-based institution.

A large majority of Chinese respondents (96.0%) believe that China has demonstrated exceptional performance in deploying economic responses and supportive policies against the impact of the virus.

Among South Korean respondents, China’s anti-epidemic measures and supportive policies were confirmed, with 40.4% giving positive feedback, while only 27.4% and 3.8% did. for their own country and Japan, respectively.

For Japanese respondents, positive comments on China’s virus control measures reached 64.4%, while the figure for their own country and South Korea was 26.4% and 13, 7%.

“There are quite high proportions among Japanese and South Korean business leaders who highly recognize China’s efforts and measures to control COVID-19 while bringing economic functioning back to normal,” Lü said. Chao, a fellow of the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, at Global Schedules on Mondays.

Although the outbreak is still severe in Japan and South Korea, both have performed better than some Western countries, Lü said, adding that there would be strong economic rebounds in both countries if the impact of COVID-19 abates later this year.

China, Japan and South Korea signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in November with 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Australia and New Zealand, launching the world’s largest free trade bloc.

As a result of the mega deal, a top-level trilateral free trade agreement (FTA) between China, Japan and South Korea is expected to be concluded sooner than expected.

China will promote rapid implementation of RCEP and speed up negotiations for a China-Japan-South Korea FTA, Commerce Minister Wang Wentao said last week, when presenting the ministry’s work target for 2021.

Lü said the cooperation momentum of the three Northeast Asian countries is unstoppable. “The Asia-Pacific region will play a leading role in the global economic recovery in the post-COVID-19 period, and Northeast Asia will be the main driver,” he noted.

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