This month, one of China’s most important annual events – the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, known locally as “Liang Hui” or “Two Sessions” – took place in Beijing. This annual gathering came at a critical point for China, as the country emerges from three years of pandemic-induced isolation with a clear focus on kickstarting economic recovery and releasing pent-up domestic consumption demand.
During the “Two Sessions”, China’s President Xi Jinping and its new Premier Li Qiang were keen to reaffirm to the world that the country remains open and supportive for foreign investment, while also highlighting the importance of national security and self-reliance. This message was backed up by the announcement of major policies and structural reforms, including in the financial services sector. But did they do enough to instill the business and consumer confidence that is so crucially needed to help them meet their economic goals?
Both internally and externally, there is a growing sense that business is returning to normal, and many domestic and international business leaders have a positive outlook for 2023 – including the steady stream of global CEOs now visiting China. But debate continues about how exactly the economy should be stimulated and growth revitalized, and if key structural issues, such as in the property sector, have been resolved. Meanwhile, with a worsening geopolitical environment and increasing scrutiny by Western governments into how private companies engage with China, many multinationals are increasingly seeking to “de-risk” their operations and prepare for any reputational issues that may result.
In our comprehensive report on the “Two Sessions”, FGS Global’s teams in China and across our network evaluate the key highlights and considerations for international investors and companies and provide some recommendations for navigating the way forward as China sets its future course.
Download the full report here.