LONDON, May 12 (Xinhua) -- The more multinationals know about and integrate their operations into the economy of China, the more confidence they will have in China's long-term growth and prosperity, Standard Chartered's China chief has said.
"China is the world's largest manufacturer with the most comprehensive and resilient supply chain system, which has helped China's economy recover rapidly after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic," Jerry Zhang, chief executive officer of Standard Chartered Bank (China), told Xinhua in a recent written interview.
"China is also the second-largest consumer market in the world, with huge consumer demands that will continue to foster growth of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), accelerate innovations, and bring even more vigour to China's economy," she added.
In 2021, the bank's business in China has grown significantly, driven by wealth management, financial markets, trade and unsecured products, according to Zhang.
"The bank is very optimistic about China's long-term development prospects and will continue its investment in China," she said, noting that Standard Chartered Group in February announced it will invest 300 million U.S. dollars into China related business in the next three years, "so as to help our clients seize the opportunities arising from China's continuous reform and opening-up."
China's GDP grew 4.8 percent year on year in the first quarter, which, Zhang said, is "better than market consensus," despite the resurgence of COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
"This is a good achievement, benefiting from the economic performance and front-loading macro policy support in the first two months," she added.
"The impact of the epidemic and global geopolitical risks may continue in the short term, but we think the fundamentals of a resilient, high-potential and prosperous economy in China remain intact," Zhang told Xinhua.
"We are very confident about the long-term development prospect of China," she added.
Noting China's unwavering efforts to promote high-quality development and deepen reform and opening-up, in particular financial opening-up at a higher level, she said these efforts "will continue to provide enormous development opportunities for international financial institutions including Standard Chartered Bank."
Speaking of China's policies and measures in such fields as opening-up, common prosperity, innovation and green transformation, Zhang said, "China's great efforts to continuously open up its financial sector, as well as achievement in this regard, is well recognized."
"In the past two years, the outbreak of COVID-19 has brought severe challenges to the world economy. In the meantime, China achieved GDP growth of 2.3 percent and 8.1 percent in 2020 and 2021 respectively, contributing significantly to the global anti-epidemic efforts and the recovery of the world economy," she said.
Amid rising risks of stagflation worldwide, Zhang said, "the stable economic growth in China would continue to play an important role for the recovery and growth of the world economy." ■