Business / CEO roundtable on new normal

Investment plans in major farming regions in China established: DuPont

( Updated: 2015-03-13 15:28

Editor's note: China Daily every year seeks the views of CEOs on the two sessions of top legislative and advisory bodies in Beijing through a questionnaire. This year, we collected the views of chief executives of multinational firms on the annual government report released by Premier Li Keqiang and the reform policies announced at the two sessions.

Investment plans in major farming regions in China established: DuPont

William Niebur, Vice-President of DuPont

What impressed you the most about the annual Government Work Report released during the ongoing two sessions of China’s top legislative and advisory bodies in Beijing? What do you think was the most important issue raised by the government in this report compared with the previous sessions?

We applaud the country’s central leadership decision to improve how the government regulates foreign investment and creates a “stable, fair, transparent and predictable” business environment. Premier Li Keqiang said in his government work report that China will halve the number of industries in which foreign investment is restricted. We hope that China’s openness to long-term foreign R&D investment by multi-national companies will continue. A focused effort to assure timely reviews of partnership agreements, research agreements and patent reviews, for example, will continue to lend favorably to China’s economic development and prosperity. This open approach has created opportunities for multinationals, including DuPont, and many others to establish relationships with Chinese companies and government agencies to bring advanced technology to China and adapt it to local conditions.

In the Government Work Report, Premier Li Keqiang said that the nation’s economic growth rate would be adjusted to 7 percent. Do you think your company should adjust its development strategy in China?

As the world’s second largest economy, China has emerged as a leader in economic and social development. At DuPont, we recognized the tremendous opportunity that China represents in agriculture since opening local seed operations nearly fifteen years ago. From feedstock to fuel — and every step in between — our strategy has been to lead and transform China’s agricultural industry through sustainable productivity increases that enhance food security and rural development. With China’s new opportunities and challenges, DuPont will stick to our overall Chinese strategy, while initiating novel business approaches and actions. We have great faith in China’s ability to grow and positively influence global food systems, we are committed to working together with China’s agricultural industry to help feed the world and improve the human condition.

Amid the global economic slowdown, especially in developed economies, and China’s economic adjustment, what is your greatest concern about your company’s operations in China?

Intellectual Property protection is an issue for the entire agriculture industry, especially Chinese farmers who have a right to receive the quality and authenticity they expect when they buy seed. A modern seed industry would respect intellectual property rights, label products accurately and transparently, create and deliver value through products and services, and reinvest profits into modern R&D programs, employing the latest biotechnology advances. China has made great progress in agriculture, which has spurred research and development in the industry and ensured long-term benefits for the rural population. DuPont will continue to support and cooperate with Chinese authorities to make every effort towards protecting the rights of farmers, and to contribute to China’s agriculture environment.

Which aspect of China’s social and economic reforms should be improved in order to enhance the investment environment to attract more foreign companies?

China has obvious advantages in attracting foreign investment given its huge domestic market, strong infrastructure support, and skilled labor force. While many reforms were considered, those that support China’s emphasis on food security are significant. Looking ahead, China must continue to reengineer its food system in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Faced with a high-density population and natural resource constraints, China has already begun to move away from extensive management methods characterized by large output goals and relying on high resource consumption towards improving its competitiveness, promoting technological innovation in agriculture, and seeking more sustainable solutions. As we look to the future, innovation, technology and collaboration remain the pillars of ongoing growth. DuPont is committed to being an essential part of the solution by applying our science and working with partners throughout the value chain.

Do you think your company will develop faster in China than the previous year in terms of growth rate or market penetration?

At DuPont, we believe China’s current economic transformation indicates significant growth potential and an aggressively progressing reform for 2015 and beyond. We have established long-term investment plans across a number of major farming regions throughout the country, sharing our modern agricultural management knowledge and experience, developing world-class production and logistic systems, and establishing R&D and breeding projects as well as professional agricultural talent development programs.

The country has made great advances in monitoring market conditions to support competition. We are encouraged by the current discussions and directions being led by the Chinese government. DuPont is engaging in novel collaborations and partnerships to contribute more to the accelerated development of a high-integrity, professional and modern agriculture in China.

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