American businesses in China see their industries growing this year after the Covid-19 pandemic dented profits in 2020 despite Beijings quick containment of the virus outbreak, a survey by the American Chamber of Commerce shows.

Some 81% of the 345 respondents expect industry growth this year and 45% see relations with the U.S. improving, a jump of 15 percentage points from last year, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Half said the investment environment is improving and just 12% said it is deteriorating, the lowest proportion since the question was first introduced in the survey in 2012. Only 56% of respondents made profits in 2020, the lowest level since the survey began 23 years ago, with a fifth suffering losses.

With China leading in economic recovery and the new U.S. administration in place, our members are cautiously optimistic regarding business growth in China, AmCham China Chairman Greg Gilligan wrote in the report.

Global business travel disruptions, the inability for expatriate staff to return to China due to government entry restrictions, and uncertainty around business decision making were the biggest ways in which the pandemic impacted American companies operations in China. The survey was conducted between October and November last year.

With assistance by John Liu, and Yujing Liu

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