BEIJING, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- U.S. companies in South China expect a 40 percent jump in investments in the region to $16.5 billion over the three years, a survey said.
China Daily said Wednesday that the survey, done in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, were based on a poll of 425 companies of the more than 2,000 corporate and individual members of the American Chamber of Commerce in South China.
Guangdong borders Hong Kong and Macao and the province is China's largest center for foreign trade.
The report said those surveyed were asked to forecast projected investment spending from 2013-15. Respondents said they expect investment budgets to total more than $16.5 billion over the period, up 40 percent from the previous three years.
The report said member companies in the region, despite China's sluggish economy, were confident about the market.
"Enterprises simply do not invest such vast amounts of money and effort in a business environment they deem to be uncompetitive or even particularly hazardous," chamber President Harley Seyedin was quoted as saying.
He said the participants want to focus increasingly on the domestic Chinese market than on exports.
The survey said 80.5 percent of companies are considering serving the Chinese mainland market with goods or services, compared to 35 percent in 2006.
The survey said about 95 percent of the participants reported either being profitable or expected to reach profitability within two years, China Daily reported. However, the participants' major concerns over the next three years included regulatory issues by the Chinese government, local competition, rising labor costs and a lack of skilled and general employees.
"This is the ninth consecutive year the survey has ever been conducted, making it easier for us to identify long-term trends," Seyedin said.