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China’s business opportunities abound, not only with the nation’s huge export driven economy, but with a growing domestic market comprised of hundreds of millions of middle and upper-income consumers. China, after all, is the largest exporter and second largest importer of goods in the world. While the state still dominates in strategic “pillar” industries (such as energy and heavy industries), its private enterprise that has seen the most growth in recent years, now accounting for 30% to 70% of China’s national output (from a mere 1% in 1978). Business success is attributed to a combination of cheap labour, relatively high productivity, good infrastructure, favorable government policy, a diversified banking system, a possibly undervalued exchange rate, and the influx of foreign investment. While agriculture and industry dominate the economy, employing more than 70% of the labour force and accounting for more than 60% of GDP, business opportunities can be found across a broad range of sectors – from mining, transportation and tourism, to information technology, biotechnology and luxury goods. The list of business risks (or opportunities for some), include – inflation from credit-fueled stimulus spending, a property bubble, pollution, a falling water table, soil erosion and desertification, lack of intellectual property rights, a pronounced urban-rural income gap, and a rapidly aging population.

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