BEIJING, CHINA - Media OutReach - 10 April 2019 -
China's small businesses are cautiously
optimistic amid anticipated global economic downtrend in 2019, according to a
survey conducted by CPA Australia, one of the world's largest accounting bodies.
CPA Australia Asia Pacific Small BusinessSurvey 2018 Beijing media gathering from left Derek Chan President of Nortch China Committee and Kevin Ng Member of North China Committee
The findings from CPA Australia's
10th annual Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey, follow extensive
surveying of more than 3,600 small business operators in ten markets, including
Australia, Mainland China, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Over 70 per cent of small
businesses from China expect to grow in 2019 and over 50 per cent of the
businesses expect to increase their workforce this year. With global economic
uncertainty and slowing global growth, this result reflects positively on the
capabilities and resilience of China's small business sector.
Derek Chan, President of CPA Australia
North China Committee says that conditions for small businesses were slightly
weaker across the Asia Pacific in 2018.
"Overall, 2 per cent fewer
respondents reported that they grew in 2018 than 2017. For Mainland China, the
result bettered the survey average, with 74 per cent of Mainland China's small
businesses stating that they grew in 2018 compared to the survey average of 66
"The positive small business conditions look set to continue into 2019,
with 71 per cent of small businesses from Mainland China expecting to grow,
however expectations are down from 2018, when 78 per cent expected to grow.
"Global trade tensions appear to be the primary reason for a
general weakening in confidence. The survey average for the Asia-Pacific shows
that small businesses are more likely to expect that trade tensions will have a
negative impact on their business than a positive impact.
"However, there are many positives
to take from the survey results. For example, small business confidence is the
strongest in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia. With fast growing
local economies, it is not surprising that small business confidence in those
markets is relatively higher. There are many opportunities for small businesses
in mainland China to diversify their markets and reduce their risks by
collaborating with these emerging markets along the Belt and Road, where there
is growing interest in developing innovation-driven and knowledge-based
"Another positive factor is the
digital capability and innovative culture of mainland China's small business
sector, with the survey showing that there is a solid link between development
of digital tools and strong business growth. Driven by the Government's
innovation development strategy, small businesses in mainland China are more
motivated to innovate than their counterparts in other surveyed markets. Over
30 per cent of small businesses from mainland China found that the introduction
of a new product or service is a key driver of their growth."
In addition, China has introduced a
series of tax reforms since 2018 and a further reduction in taxes and other
levies will be implemented in 2019 in order to encourage further small business
Kevin Ng, member of CPA Australia
North China Committee, highlights the importance of tax reforms to small
businesses in mainland China.
"Increasing costs are one of the
most significant barriers to small business in mainland China, with over 33 per
cent of businesses identifying it as the key challenge for them in 2018. We believe
the government's further tax cut, together with other measures that will be
implemented this year, will help to reduce their cost burden and sharpen their
competitiveness in the region. This will stimulate the growth of the broader
business sector. The deeper VAT reforms commencing on April 1, will further
relieve the pressure on small businesses and boost economic activity," Mr Ng
The survey also found that among ten surveyed markets in the
Asia-Pacific, Mainland China's small businesses expect easy access to finance in 2019, with 34 per cent of
businesses expecting that access to finance will be "easy" or "very easy". This
percentage is higher than the Asia-Pacific average of 23 per cent.
"The recent announcements in the "Two
Sessions" on increasing the availability of finance for small businesses is
timely and will further improve small business access the financing they need
to support growth and make further investments in technology.
"In addition, considering the high proportion of small businesses from
mainland China that sell online and utilise other digital technologies, there
are opportunities for reputable financial institutions to apply FinTech and big
data analysis to make it easier for small business to access finance," Mr Chan
"Along with the global trend towards
improving tax compliance and information exchange, we suggest that small
businesses seeking finance undertake a strategic review of their books and
records, including their tax returns, which may help build their
creditworthiness," Mr Ng says.
CPA Australia has six tips for China's small businesses in
for government incentives that are supportive of innovation
advice on which technologies are best suited for your business before investing
in those technologies
big data analytics to analyze your customers in order to further improve
opportunities in Xiong An New Area, emerging economies on the Belt and Road,
and other fast growing markets in the Asia-Pacific region and Africa
in improving strategic and managerial skills
a strategic review of your cost structure and potential business risks
About CPA Australia
Australia is one of the world's largest accounting bodies with more than
163,000 members working in 125 countries and regions around the world, and with
more than 25,000 members working in senior leadership positions. It has
established a strong membership base of more than 18,000 in the Greater China
Australia Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey
The CPA Australia Asia-Pacific
Small Business Survey provides annual insights into the views of small
businesses across the region and forms part of a longitudinal study that began
in 2009. The 10th CPA Australia annual survey comprised extensive
surveying of 3607 small business operators in ten markets, including Hong Kong,
Mainland China (Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chongqing), Taiwan, Malaysia,
Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand.
Market Summary -- China
Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey