Foreign CEOs praise China’s changes

By Huang Ge Source:Global Times Published: 2017/10/24 21:53:40

Govt support seen boosting business environment


People select goods at an international shopping center in Zhengzhou, capital of Central China's Henan Province in September. Photo: VCG

Words like "fast, innovative and inclusive" are cited by senior executives from foreign enterprises to describe China's economic development during the last five years, as they see the country becoming an innovation powerhouse and a leader in various trends such as e-commerce.

Remarkable achievements have been made in China thanks to the country's efforts to steer such a sizeable economy toward continuous steady growth, especially with the continuous opening-up while shifting the development focus to quality, efficiency and sustainability, senior executives from foreign enterprises told the Global Times.

Innovative transformation

"I've been coming to China since 2012. During the past five years, I have been deeply impressed by the energy and innovation in China," Thierry Garnier, president and CEO of Carrefour China, told the Global Times Tuesday.

"The rapid development demonstrates the vitality of China's market in economic globalization," Garnier said.

The past five years has seen the emergence of services designed to offer convenience for consumers in China.

"The introduction of shared bicycles solves 'the last mile' problem; the development of online-to-offline makes life more convenient; and the birth of mobile payment allows people to travel around with only a mobile phone," Garnier noted.

"For enterprises like us, this offers a wide spectrum of reference data, based on the purchasing habits of consumers, which gives us a sharper insight into customer needs [and allows us] to provide better services and innovative formats," he said.

The improving legal environment in China and cultivation of talent has also set up a solid base for foreign enterprises to invest and develop in the country, according to Garnier.

China has changed more in the past three years than it has the last 30 years, and its transformation will definitely accelerate in the five years to come, with 500 million new consumers, 200 cities rising amid accelerating urbanization and a large middle-class population, said Jean-Paul Agon, chairman and CEO of L'Oreal.

"We are happy to see that China's supply-side structural reform has gained momentum through upgrading of consumption and the further opening of the market. This trend is also expected to elicit more positive competition that will strengthen the competitiveness of local industry and further activate the dynamics of China's overall economy," Agon told the Global Times.

Confidence boost

China's continuous efforts to reinforce open partnership and innovation to boost regional economic prosperity and people's livelihoods are setting a great example for the world, the executives noted. 

They said that the Belt and Road initiative is accelerating the economic globalization process and that it allows global companies to further expand their footprint across the world. They also told the Global Times that they are more than willing to participate in potential initiatives and to bring products to more consumers through various methods such as cross-border e-commerce platforms.

E-commerce will become China's calling card in the future, and it could inject vitality into the world economy, Agon predicted.

China has established one of the world's most globalized, open-source and effective e-commerce networks with world-class innovation in technology and a business model that has been reshaping the way companies around the globe connect with each other and create commercial value, according to Agon.

China's cross-border e-commerce industry has achieved substantial growth since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, said Elaine Chang, vice president of Amazon and president of Amazon China.

During the past five years, the central government has stepped up efforts to roll out favorable policies to support cross-border e-commerce, which has provided more development opportunities for the domestic e-commerce sector as well as Amazon's business, Chang told the Global Times Tuesday.

"These measures have shown the Chinese government's desire to further open up the market and actively attract foreign investment. We believe the implementation of the policies will further enhance the business environment for foreign enterprises in China," Chang noted.

"We have confidence in China's economic growth," Chang said, adding that innovation will continue to play a key role in boosting China's economy.

What should be noted is that for an ardent champion of economic globalization like China, the biggest challenge is green development and environmental protection, said Agon.

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Posted in: ECONOMY,GT REPORTS

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