[Global Trading in Guangdong]
The 13th Guangdong Provincial Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) kicked off today in Guangzhou. The Congress reviewed Guangdong's remarkable achievements in various aspects in the past five years and unveiled the blue print for future development. The construction of business environment is also one of the hot topics on the Congress, GDToday interviewed a number of representatives of foreign chambers of commerce in Guangdong for their insights and further suggestions into the province's business environment development.
"The development of Guangdong and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) in recent years is astonishing. It is becoming easier to establish a new corporation, apply for specific licenses, or access financial instruments," said Dário Silva, Founder & President of PorCham Greater China, when sharing with GDToday on the business environment of Guangdong.
Silva also praised that the preferential policies for Portuguese-speaking countries' corporations to enter the GBA are becoming increasingly appealing. And he found companies such as Colquímica, the largest Portuguese producer of adhesives, are preparing to settle in Guangdong.
PorCham Greater China currently counts over 100 memberships from both Portuguese-speaking countries and China. Recently, it signed with the National Development and Reform Commission a new agreement under which a new joint project started, the China Portugal International Trading Investment Cooperation Center, with its headquarter in Guangzhou and focus on Portugal and Portuguese-speaking countries' projects in the GBA.
GDToday: What opportunities will the General Plan for Construction of the Guangdong-Macao In-Depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin (Hengqin plan) bring to PorCham and Portuguese companies in Guangdong?
Dário Silva: With the Hengqin plan and an increase in financial services platforms between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, will allow us to bring a lot of attention from major players in Portuguese-speaking countries to establish their Asian operation headquarters here, as well as PorCham to provide an increase in support to its members coming into the GBA.
GDToday: What influence has COVID-19 brought to Portuguese companies in Guangdong? What support and help has Guangdong offered for Portuguese companies to operate the business under the epidemic?
Dário Silva: According to an inquiry made to our members, nearly half of corporations maintained stability, and nearly 70% of them are already implementing new business models after this experience.
Local authorities provided support in tax reductions and rent subsidies, along with other support measures essential for businesses to maintain stability during this time.
GDToday: What do you think of the business environment in Guangdong and the GBA in recent years?
Dário Silva: The development of Guangdong and the GBA in recent years is nothing but astonishing. It is becoming easier and easier to establish a new corporation, apply for specific licenses, or access financial instruments. The preferential policies for Portuguese-speaking countries’ corporations to enter the GBA are increasingly appealing.
European companies, including Portuguese companies that are investing in Guangdong are happy to know the implementation of the Regulations on Protection of Rights and Interests of Foreign Investors in Guangdong Province. It stipulates that governments at all levels must treat both foreign-invested enterprises and domestic enterprises in accordance with the law in terms of activities such as government funding arrangements, government investment projects, land supply, tax relief, qualifications and permits, etc.
Another very interesting point is the new measures on protecting IP (Intellectual Property) rights owned by foreign investors, which was always a major concern for foreign investors.
GDToday: Do you have any suggestions for Guangdong and GBA to further optimize the business environment and attract foreign investment?
Dário Silva: My only suggestion is that all the consulates in Guangzhou can provide information such as preferential policies for specifics industries in a certain city or district within the GBA, or procedures to apply for those preferential policies.
Then, foreign investors in Guangdong can spread the investment guide to the potential investors when they are back in their countries.