As more and more western companies and investors look east for investment opportunities, it is the perfect time to take a closer look at China's most rapidly expanding industries. China's dynamic economy and increasingly influential financial market may well dictate the future of global business. Here is a brief guide to where most of its money is being generated.
Food and beverage
With a population of more than 1 billion people, it should come as no surprise that there is plenty of money in food production and provision in China. As the economy soars and the middle class grows, demand for speciality foodstuffs, foreign cuisine and imported food brands is rising. This has been helped along by a number of food scares related to many of China's home-grown foods. So, if you work in the food industry, then China represents a massive potential area for growth and investment, yet it is not an easy market to enter. Given the sheer size of the country, brand recognition can take time and supermarket shelf space is priced very high.
Again, given the sheer number of people in the country and the populations increased wealth, it is obvious why healthcare is such a growing industry. With much government support promised in the current five year plan, private hospitals, prescription medicines and medical equipment are all growing sectors. Though foreign investment will play a big part in this, it won't be a clear and easy path for even recognised foreign companies looking to make their mark in China. Foreign medical devices are generally considered more expensive than their Chinese equivalents and this perception may become more vivid as the government makes high quality healthcare more affordable for its citizens. Whatever happens, it is 100% that this sector will keep growing, mainly because it has to. There are now 185 million senior citizens in the country and that figure will only rise higher in the near future. Caring for all those people as they go through their elderly years will mean big business for somebody.
Once again, we find the increasingly large middle class dictating what industries grow and decrease in China. As families find themselves with more disposable income, the availability of private education becomes more important. Whether fair or unfair, there is a perception amongst certain elements in Chinese society that the standard system is not doing enough to educate children to western standards. This has led to a call for more high quality fee-paying schools for the children of people who can afford them. The sector has responded by ballooning in size, with private education set to reach a market size of $102 billion this year. This includes after school tutors, private third level academies and adult education, a pretty hefty proportion of which is based in the English language. That last little fact means western companies have the upper hand in his market.
It is not secret that there is an issue in some Chinese cities with pollution. Once again, as the citizens become more affluent they become more vocal about their rights to clean air and food or, at least, their vocalism becomes harder to ignore. In response, the government has dedicated a vast chunk of its most recent five year plan to greener technology and industrial practices. With investment in clean energy up 20% from last year and much more cash pouring in, any company that can help provide clean water, solar energy or decreased waste may find a bountiful market in China.