China's economy is facing a quite challenging transition, but it also indicates robust market potential and a clear reform strategy for a bright future in 2014.
I can't agree with the top Chinese leadership more in calling for all-round efforts to conserve resources and curb pollution, rather than sacrifice the environment for temporary economic growth. 3M is providing transformational products and solutions, such as N95 respirators (the N95 respirator is the most common of the seven types of particulate filtering facepiece respirators), air purifiers and water purification systems that help the Chinese to tackle the challenging environment and improve their lives.
With the growth challenges, normally you need to think about resource prioritization, tightening up spending on things, but 3M is unique. We lead a "lean" business process by defining customer needs, measuring key aspects of the current process, analyzing data to investigate cause- and-effect relationships, improving the current process and controlling the future state of the process
Also, we see a huge opportunity to accelerate local growth through proactive change: accelerating local new-product introduction, optimizing product portfolios, maximizing geographic coverage and enhancing distribution channels.
China is transforming from an export-oriented economy to a service and domestic demand-oriented one, which is good for rebalancing both within China and in the global markets
In this case, we have tremendous potential in China When you look at the size of our business and the size of opportunities, I am nothing but optimistic about the direction in which we are headed and our ability to get there.
Sustainability is embedded in every aspect of our business, including the products we make and how we market them.
By taking the current smog situation as an example, you can see a lot of people have chosen to wear 3M respirators and learned about the proper fitting of them. It means opportunities for us but, more important, I'm glad to see we are able to help people improve their lives.
Considering the environmental problems, we also made a decision to reassign many people from a shrinking business into a faster-growing business. An example of a fast-growing business is water purification. We grew it from 6 million yuan (nearly $1 million) to 25 million yuan in two years.
SENIOR VICE-PRESIDENT, FINANCE AND STAFF SERVICES,3M GREATER CHINA AREA