Despite the continued softness in the global economy, Fung Business Intelligence Centre believes the mainland's commercial sector will remain resilient and present significant opportunity for foreign and domestic investors this year.
In a report, "Ten Highlights of the China Commercial Sector, 2013", the centre provides expert views and insights into the mainland sector.
This is the 10th annual report that the Fung Business Intelligence Centre has compiled, and it includes a summary on the evolution of the commercial sector in the past 10 years. The centre was formerly known as the Li & Fung Research Centre.
Reflecting on the mainland economy in the past decade, Chang Ka-mun, the managing director of the centre, said: "China's economy in 2003 was really imbalanced. However, the situation changed in 2010. Domestic consumption rose while foreign investment declined."
The key focus highlighted in the report was the central government's efforts in facilitating the growth of domestic consumption by tackling issues such as distribution.
"The government's efforts to increase domestic consumption will allow China to head to a more balanced future," Chang said.
According to the centre, the distribution sector is recognised by the government as a key sector of the economy.
The plan which promotes development among the eastern, central, and western regions is the country's first national scheme for domestic trade and is set to become the blueprint for the sector.
"Urbanisation is the key in stabilising the economy in China," said Chang, explaining that it would be a step in moving the mainland towards a consumption-driven economy.
Other important topics covered by the centre included government policies and initiatives aimed at boosting domestic consumption and the regulation of online retail shopping.
With Beijing assisting local companies through policies and initiatives, the advice given by the Fung Business Intelligence Centre for foreign commercial companies was to focus on their core competencies by differentiating themselves in the retail market through branding and location.