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'Dual circulation' to boost growth (Ⅳ)
2021-01-20 

Editor's Note: Despite global uncertainties and the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, China is on track to embrace the dual-circulation development pattern as it enters the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25) in 2021, which also marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China.

China Daily spoke to senior executives from multinational corporations to get their views on the overall macroeconomic environment, potential business opportunities, and how China can play a key role in shaping the trajectory of global growth.

Q1: How important have your China operations been in your overall performance in 2020?

Q2: China's new dual-circulation development pattern emphasizes on boosting domestic demand and further opening up the domestic market. How will your company utilize this policy to expand your presence and investment in China?

Q3: Which policy aspect in the government's "Six Safeguards and Six Priorities" directive has emerged as most conducive to your development in China amid the global economic uncertainties?

Q4: What are your views on China's highly centralized but people-oriented economic development model? Do you think China's policies to quickly and effectively restore business activities and safeguard people's livelihood have helped your business recovery in China and contributed to the recovery of the global economy and industrial chains?

Q5: What's your take on Beijing's stance that China has entered a "new development stage"? How would such a proposition bring changes to your China strategy?

Q6: How does China fit into your overall business strategy in the coming years? What role do you expect China to play in driving the world economy?

Q7: What aspects of China's 14th Five-Year Plan and the country's 2035 long-term development goal are you most looking forward to, and how will your company adapt its strategy according to the country's future growth paradigm?

Lily Fu, managing director of Avaya China. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

A1: Last year, we accomplished our goals for the Chinese market despite various challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have earned more local customers and partners, and expanded our market share in China. The positive results of last year are primarily due to our active transformation toward cloud computing. The company's steady growth in China allows us to deal with the difficulties and challenges and consolidate our position in the global market.

A2: We see the dual circulation policy as an opportunity for us. The Chinese government attaches importance to expanding domestic demand, which means a larger market for enterprises that operate in China, including Avaya. We would like to work closely with more local IT vendors and introduced our world-class offerings and the latest technologies to our Chinese customers. We will also help Chinese IT companies to develop business in the global market.

A3: Avaya's "In China, For China" promise is in line with the government's efforts to ensure "six priorities" and stability in six areas, which encourage us to invest in the Chinese market, and give us space to grow. Apart from the world-class technologies and solutions we introduced, we expect our further engagement with China's economic development will bring more jobs and business opportunities in China.

A4: China's macro-economy policies put the investment, consumption, employment and people's livelihoods at the core, which empowers sustainable economic development. Thanks to China's quick recovery, Avaya's local business avoided a great loss, and obtained new development opportunities. For example, during the pandemic, a number of Chinese companies sought Avaya's help for remote collaboration to protect their employees and ensure business continuity.

A5: China could be and should be a contributor to the world technology arena. Avaya would like to give more input to drive technology innovations and bridge China and the world by accelerating technology exchanges between both sides.

A6: The Chinese market is of great significance to Avaya. Since we entered this market several decades ago, we have been growing with it. We have seen the huge potential of the Chinese market. Therefore, we will invest more in China, build our local partner ecosystem and enhance our cooperation with local enterprises. We believe it is an effort with mutual benefit.

China has considerable influence on the world economy. And it also has demonstrated its strength in technology innovation, especially during recent years. Avaya and I both hope China can play its role in accelerating the recovery of the world economy.

A7: The 14th Five-Year Plan and the 2035 long-term development goal outlined "innovation" as one of the keywords. It is definitely positive information for Avaya and other foreign companies who operate in China. We will try to integrate China's needs into our strategies and efforts, and adapt ourselves in several ways by accelerating localization push, improving our strategies in innovations, helping our enterprise customers with their digital transformations, and introducing our cutting-edge technologies to the new infrastructure projects.

Nishiguchi Tooru, Asia Executive Officer of Kao Corp. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

A1: Under the strong leadership of the Chinese government, China's rapid economic recovery has also contributed to the rapid recovery of Kao's career in China. China has always been the most important overseas market in Kao Group's global strategy, and after COVID-19, the Chinese market has become more and more important.

A2: Kao wants to be China's trusted "Kirei" living partner. The Japanese word "Kirei" means beautiful or clean, not only on the outside but also the inside.

Kao continues to create and provide "high-quality products" in the field of "cleanliness, health and beauty". To this end, Kao will continue to import products developed by Kao's most advanced technology into the Chinese market.

We will also leverage the strength of research and development centers and factories in China, to develop and produce products suitable for Chinese consumers' demand.

A3: As foreign-funded enterprises, the Chinese government's efforts in ensuring stability on the "six fronts" and security in "six areas" is very beneficial for our long-term development in China.

The reduction of uncertainty and the realization of stable employment, investment, production and sales will be closely related to the development of future undertakings.

A4: COVID-19 affected the whole world, but the Chinese government actively took strong measures to curb the spread of the epidemic. Its outstanding performance in COVID-19 prevention and control has won the world's attention.

Although the global economy has been hard-hit, China's economic growth rate in the third quarter turned positive from negative, and its economy recovered and developed rapidly from the epidemic. In particular, the market of consumer goods we belong to has also quickly revived, and consumption is also rising.

In the early stages of COVID-19, Kao (China) has been affected by attendance, logistics and other aspects, but under the guidance of the government we achieved the resumption of work relatively quickly. At present, we organize business activities orderly under the daily implementation of epidemic prevention measures.

A5: China is developing at a surprising rate in order to achieve its first century goal of building a well-off society in an all-round way. Kao entered China in 1993 and has witnessed and closely followed its rapid social and economic development, and the improvement of people's living standards over the past three decades.

In the new stage of development in the future, in order to be more close to the whole Chinese society and the needs of each consumer, Kao will continue to use the strength of Kao Group and strengthen the Chinese market to help Chinese consumers achieve a more beautiful life.

A6: In today's society, almost all business activities are inseparable from the Chinese market. The Chinese market has also always been Kao's most important overseas market. Assuming the growth of China's business remains stable in terms of its huge market scale, we believe the Chinese market will continue to maintain the most important position, and will promote and lead the further development of Kao group through the development of Kao(China)'s business.

A7: We are looking forward to the further reform and opening-up policy of the 14th Five-Year Plan. We will unite the efforts to develop advanced innovative products continuously, and continue to provide high-quality products for Chinese consumers through importing from Japan and other overseas countries.

At the same time, with regard to the call of promoting the construction of an ecological civilization, we have also implemented the ESG strategy, which is closely related to the policy above, and focused on production development and related social activities to contribute to the sustainable development of Chinese society.

Howard Ozawa, executive vice-president of Canon Inc, president & CEO of Canon (China) Co Ltd. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

A1: Canon fared very well in 2020 in China, boasting particularly outstanding performance in China compared to the rest of the world. Canon's camera market in China has appeared to be the most robust due to the recovery of the market and the debut of key products such as EOS R5. In the post-pandemic era, families' demand for printing has surged, driving up the sales of Canon's printers in China in 2020. The restructuring of Canon's healthcare business in China has added growth momentum to the global medical market.

A2: The key to the establishment of the dual-circulation development pattern is the innovation-driven high-quality development. Canon should emphasize innovation and high quality to develop its businesses in China. China plays a leading role in the development of various segments. Canon should also move in line with the latest market trends in China and ramp up efforts in innovation, especially in bolstering domestic innovation capacity.

A3: We value stabilizing foreign investment the most. With the support of this policy, Canon can carry out investment in a more fair, transparent and convenient environment, enabling us to expand our business types and areas, and participate in centralized purchases in a more extensive manner.

Canon pays more attention to safeguarding the stable operation of industrial and supply chains, which have proved very significant through the pandemic.

A4: The development model has enabled China to be the first country in the world to resume production and enabled its people to go back to normal life. China's experiences are of great value for the whole world. As China plays an indispensable role in the supply chains of various industries, the fact that China has restarted its businesses is essential for global supply chains.

A5: As China has developed at a high speed over the last 40 years and Chinese people are striving for a better life, China's development is bound to enter a new era. We hope that through our advantages in imaging, we can provide better imaging products, technologies and solutions for China and enable better living and working experiences, so as to further entertain and touch people. This is Canon's vision for the long term.

A6: China has always been one of Canon's most important markets due to its huge market scale, integral industrial chains and vital economy. Here, we have a complete business system encompassing R&D, production, logistics, sales and service, which have seen great development for many years. In the future, China's market will play an increasingly significant role.

As we all know, China is the only economy registering positive growth among all major economies in the world. The sound development of China's market will boost our confidence in and expectation for the recovery of global economy. In addition, China is actively promoting economic globalization. Given the current global landscape, the only way out for the global economy is to strengthen cooperation between countries, and China is also working on it.

A7: I have full confidence for China's future developments in economy, markets, innovation and further opening-up. China will play a leading role in the development of emerging technologies. Canon also hopes to promote development in areas such as big data, cloud computing, internet of things, artificial intelligence and machine learning. We will strengthen our cooperation with our business partners in China to explore the wider use of these emerging technologies in imaging, so that we can provide customized smart IT products, solutions and services for our customers here.

Tetsuro Homma, CEO of China and Northeast Asia Company, Panasonic Corporation. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

A1: Our business in China accounts for about a quarter of Panasonic's global business scale, and the Chinese market is the most important overseas market for Panasonic. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economic downturn, the revenue from the Chinese market increased 4 percent in the second quarter of 2020, compared with same period in 2019, and rose 2 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2020.

A2: In the new dual-circulation development pattern, Panasonic attaches great importance to the new development opportunities underpinned by the "noncontact economy", and will also be committed to providing new proposals for clean concepts for people's daily lives after the pandemic, hoping to contribute to the internal circulation in terms of health, elderly care, cleanliness, and noncontact cold chain.

A3: Panasonic was able to quickly resume work and production in China, reaching a resumption rate of 100 percent in mid-March in 2020 under the guidance of safeguarding foreign investment in the "Six Safeguards and Six Priorities" policy. During the difficult period of international personnel exchanges, the government actively coordinated business personnel coming to China and provided convenience for foreign companies in China, which also helped Panasonic's business in China proceed smoothly. In addition, local governments have introduced a series of favorable measures and provided preferential policies in social insurance, providing strong support for Panasonic's development in China.

A4: The Chinese government has taken strong epidemic prevention and control measures during the epidemic and provided a variety of support to enterprises after the resumption of work and production. Panasonic expresses its sincere thanks for this. After we resumed work and production in China, no one was infected. This is the result of strong support from the central and local governments.

A5: In the new stage of development, people's living standards will be further improved, which will also make more people pay attention to high-quality, convenient and healthy lifestyles. Panasonic is committed to providing the public with healthy and safe integrated smart home appliance services. At the same time, Panasonic will focus on health, elderly care and the fresh food supply chain to make contributions to people's well-being.

A6: As the second-largest economy in the world, China has gradually transformed into a major consumption, engineering, and innovation country while maintaining its status as a major manufacturing country. The Chinese market has incomparable advantages, and provides many development opportunities for countries around the world.

A7: China's 14th Five-Year Plan and its long-term development goals for 2035 are guidelines for China's economic and social development in the next five years and beyond. It also clarified the further promotion of the dual-circulation development pattern, which is of great significance for Panasonic to continue to deepen its business in China.

Panasonic will regard the health, elderly care and fresh food supply chain as its growth areas, and integrate its traditional advantages in home appliances and residential equipment, and unique technical expertise in the cold chain and refrigerator industry as the business foundation.

Reggie Lai, vice-president of TE Connectivity, and general manager in China. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

A1: TE Connectivity (TE) has been rooted in China for more than 30 years. China is one of the most dynamic and strategic markets for TE across the globe. In the past fiscal year, our strong business performance in China has contributed to TE's global performance. In 2020, TE increased its registered capital of 120 million yuan ($18.32 million) to further our development in China.

A2: TE sees huge potential in the country's industrial and consumption upgrades, an engine behind high-quality economic development in China.

When the country upgrades its advanced manufacturing capabilities, China requires more efficient, reliable and smart connectivity and sensor solutions. Consumption upgrading will lead to increasing demands in healthcare, consumer electronics, new energy vehicles and smart home appliances. When premium industrial products, such as new energy vehicles and smart home appliances, provide a strong foundation for the country to boost domestic market expansion, they also bring about huge opportunities for companies like TE.

A3: One notable piece of guidance in the "Six Safeguards and Six Priorities" is to ensure stability in investment with a focus on "New Infrastructure" initiatives.

According to the National Development and Reform Commission, the "New Infrastructure" is focused on seven areas, of which TE has categorized into two main groups: the iterative upgrade of traditional infrastructure and the massive rolling out of digital infrastructure.

A6: China has a strong domestic market where various new forms of business develop. At TE, we are excited about the opportunities generated by the industrial technology trends in China, including electric vehicles, industrial-IoT, telecommunication infrastructure and more.

As our customers count on us for sensing and connectivity solutions to advance their technology or innovation, we will continue to consolidate our manufacturing and engineering capabilities in China to better support them.

A7: The commitment of China to pursue its long-term development in a sustainable manner is something that we strive to achieve in common.

We are committed to supporting sustainability efforts in two ways. First, TE is committed to embedding sustainability in our daily operations with the goal of "decreasing waste disposed" and a "35-plus percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions" by 2030 globally. Our China operations will play an indispensable role in this commitment. Second, we continue to work together with our customers to create sustainable solutions and technologies. We will keep enabling innovations in new energy vehicles, renewable energy and other sustainable sectors in China.

Ai Xiaoming, president of Whirlpool China. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

A1: China is an important component of Whirlpool Corporation's global development strategy. Whirlpool China has been optimizing Whirlpool Corporation's global innovation platform, improving the cost competitiveness in local manufacturing, which will eventually lead to the expansion of Whirlpool's Asia-Pacific, as well as global export business.

A2: In the domestic market, Whirlpool China continues to increase investment in the Whirlpool brand, and strengthen our operational management capabilities to improve production and operational efficiency. We focus on the dishwasher business line to boost our kitchen appliance business in China, and also create a digital consumer journey to enhance customer experience. In the international market, we are reinforcing our efforts to expand foreign trade and make Whirlpool China a key part of Whirlpool's global supply chain and consumer market.

A3: Whirlpool China believes that stabilizing foreign trade and investment and ensuring industrial and supply chains are the most critical to our business development. Whirlpool China is committed to focus on product development and manufacturing in the local market, making Hefei an important part of Whirlpool Corporation's global supply chain and global R&D platform.

A4: China's economic development model has helped enterprises to ensure the health and safety of employees, while smoothly resuming work and production. It has also helped to stabilize the global supply chain. At the beginning of 2020, Whirlpool China responded instantly and actively to the pandemic. We strongly believed that under the guidance of the Chinese government, and with the help of the booming domestic digital technologies, the negative economic impact of COVID-19 would eventually be relieved.

A5: As China has entered a "new development stage", the new philosophy and new pattern requires a high-quality growth featuring innovative, coordinated, green and open, to help China achieve better, fairer, safer, more efficient and sustainable development.

A6. How does China fit into your overall business strategy in the coming years? What role do you expect China to play in driving the world economy?

In the past few decades China has played an important role in boosting the global economy, and even more so during this severe global epidemic. We believe that China will play an even more important role in the future. Thanks to the "Made in China 2025" policy and the rapid development of manufacturing technology, China is now one of the most attractive countries in terms of market size, as well as the structure and completeness of the supply chain.

A7: Thanks to a better business environment and the steady advance in system and mechanism reform, enterprises in China, including Whirlpool China, have grown rapidly. Moving into the 14th Five-Year Plan, Whirlpool China is full of expectations, confidence, and motivation. We will continue to attach great importance to the innovation and technology, creating healthy, smart and high-end products, including refrigerators, washers and kitchen appliances based on consumer needs. We will also expand in both online and offline retail channels to reach more consumers, providing humanized and environmentally friendly products for helping them achieve their ideal lifestyle.

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