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China offers massive opportunities for foreign companies: AmCham

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GUANGZHOU, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Although China's economy has slowed, it still has huge potential for investment of foreign enterprises, said Harley Seyedin, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in South China.

AmCham has more than 2,300 members, which account for 40 percent of U.S.-China business trade and investment. Seyedin told Xinhua in an interview that during the past ten years, none of its members had left China.

"We will invest 12 billion U.S. dollars this year," he said.

During the past 13 years, Seyedin said he had noticed some changes.

"The role of our companies has changed as China has changed," he said. "Our companies came here in 2003, when less than 23 percent of our member companies were actually selling the products they manufactured here to the Chinese people."

Their latest study this year, however, shows that 75 percent of its member companies were no longer in the export business. "They are here primarily producing goods and services for the Chinese market."

Therefore, Seyedin believes, they had to move up the value chain to provide value-added products for the Chinese market.

"China no longer needs to be the factory of the world," he said. "Because the world is eventually going to be the factory of China."

On the future, Seyedin was upbeat.

Growth of China demands infrastructure, while the country's aging population need health care, he noted, adding that development of tourism and education would also create opportunities.

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