Maersk CEO trust in China despite weak rebound

Vincent Clerc, the newly appointed CEO of AP Møller-Maersk, talked about China’s economic rebound during his visit to the country last week.

The rebound has been weaker than expected due to pandemic-caused disruptions and a real estate meltdown in 2022.

But despite China’s modest growth target of 5%, trading volumes associated with China have remained resilient. In addition, Clerc mentioned that Maersk will further its investments in China. He then signed a new green energy partnership agreement in Shanghai.

The Danish group is seeking to expand beyond its shipping line business into markets ranging from e-commerce to road and air freight.

“When we started the year, there was a hope that China would have a really strong rebound after Covid,” Clerc said at the PRC’s annual China Development Forum conference.

“We haven’t seen it yet, but we are relatively optimistic about the Chinese economy for 2023” Clerc added.

Profits of Chinese industrial groups fell 22.9% in January-February, causing concerns about the economy’s recovery.

Many economists hope for a better performance after China reopened in December. But according to Clerc, the Chinese consumer is not in a spending mood at the moment. 70% of Chinese savings are in real estate, which has been hit hard the last years.

Maersk has predicted that profits will fall to between $2bn and $5bn this year, from the record $31bn the company made last year during the pandemic-led boom. Despite the challenges, Maersk seems to remain committed to China.


About Miabell Mallikka

Miabell Mallikka is a journalist working with ScandAsia at the headquarters in Bangkok.

View all posts by Miabell Mallikka

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