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Creating a more vibrant, secure future

By Zheng Xin | China Daily | Updated: 2019-02-22 09:40
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The booth of Honeywell at analytica China 2018 in Shanghai. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Honeywell partnering with Chinese government and enterprises to fulfill country's energy and environment goals

Editor's Note: The Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee held in November 2013 decided to comprehensively deepen the country's reform and opening-up. China Daily is interviewing top executives of well-known multinational companies for their views on the country's socioeconomic development during the past five years.

How has the ongoing supply-side reform changed the nation's economic growth and your company's business in China?

China's ongoing supply-side structural reform is expected to generate sustainable and high-quality growth.

The fast-developing Chinese economy cannot forge ahead on the back of investment and exports alone. Consumption, driven by the digital economy, will drive sustainable economic growth in the long run.

China's digital economy already reached over 27 trillion yuan ($3.99 trillion) in 2017. It is the mainstay of China's future.

At Honeywell, we are bringing together the physical and digital worlds to tackle some of the toughest business and societal challenges, which is well aligned with China's Internet Plus strategy.

Beyond smartphones and laptops, Honeywell has been making the connections that keep cities working more efficiently, planes flying, factories running and workers safe.

How has innovation changed China's economic development and your company's business in China?

China has been steadily moving toward an innovation-focused economy. In many areas such as clean air, mass transport, new energy sources and the digital economy, China is already a pioneer.

We are happy to see China's rapid innovation, since it is beneficial to multinationals such as Honeywell, because innovation has always been a driving force of Honeywell's sustainable development and business growth.

China's key innovation trends and challenges around sustainable urbanization, industrial upgrading and economic restructuring provide Honeywell with opportunities for developing and delivering innovative "connected" products, services and solutions. These will help address those challenges intelligently.

Honeywell is a key player in helping China to transform its manufacturing industry from being just a producer, to becoming an intelligent producer.

What's your comment on China's policy on foreign enterprises and foreign investment? How can the country further improve its business environment for foreign investors?

The year 2018 marked the 40th anniversary of China's opening-up, and witnessed a series of policies to encourage foreign investment. Foreign direct investment into China rose by 3 percent year-on-year to $135 billion in 2018, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

I still remember that the first word I learned in China was "no" when I arrived on a night flight in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, in 1992. At that time, no matter where you went or what you wanted to buy, people always said "no". But in a little over a decade "no" has become "no problem", no matter what you want now.

This amazing transformation could not have happened without China's opening-up to the outside world, and inviting multinational companies to come and participate in the country's economic development.

We are pleased to see new changes aimed at streamlining foreign investment and approval, such as the system of examination and approval for projects, registration and filling, the shortened negative list and the removal of access and restrictions in various sectors.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government has been more effectively communicating with multinationals to learn about their needs. The Shanghai municipal government is a role model. If governments at all levels find and address problems, the business climate will greatly improve.

What measures should be taken if the country wants to further open up to the outside world?

We are looking forward to the new foreign investment law. The draft law on foreign investment highlighted the intellectual property rights protection of foreign investors and foreign companies, and encouraged voluntary technological cooperation based on business rules.

The more transparent and streamlined the policy is, the easier it will be to attract foreign investment in key sectors of the economy.

What is your suggestion for China to achieve more sufficient and sustainable economic development?

Thanks to supply-side reform, China has been transforming from rapid economic growth to high-quality development, with more focus on quality and efficiency rather than speed.

The past 40 years witnessed an unprecedented growth era for China. Looking to the next 40 years, our world will be completely transformed by a series of digital technologies, and China is no exception.

I think the digital revolution that is happening worldwide is quite different in China in some distinct ways. There is a parallel digital revolution in China unlike that of the rest of the world.

It is pervasive, broad, playful and ubiquitous. It blends social, cultural and economic elements in all aspects of life for businesses and consumers. It blurs the lines and allows nearly a billion people to live in a digital existence.

For example, WeChat is not just a chatting platform. It is a super platform in which consumers and businesses operate seamlessly and in an integrated fashion. This digital economy will help China to achieve more sufficient and sustainable development, and it is totally in line with Honeywell's drive to being a software technology leader in the world.

China also has to deal with a lot of challenges, at the heart of which is the environment. Today, we must address important and urgent questions about how to generate, deliver and use energy in more intelligent and efficient ways.

At Honeywell, these questions have given rise to the development of uniquely innovative technologies, services and software solutions tailored to the commercial, industrial and transportation sectors.

By combining energy efficiency and reliability, clean generation, and sustainable practices, we are driving economic growth while creating a more vibrant and secure future.

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