"More Chinese faces are at our Basel headquarters. I hope we will one day have a global CEO from China," Waltmann said.
Novartis China generated 3.3 billion yuan in revenues last year, a 29 percent increase from 2007. The company expects to achieve 30 percent year-on-year growth this year.
About 90 percent of senior executives at Novartis China are Chinese, and most of them were promoted locally, according to the company.
James Deng, president and CEO of Beijing Novartis Pharmaceutical Ltd, began his career with the company as a salesman and worked his way up the corporate ladder to his current position by 2004.
Waltmann said the next step is to increase international business training opportunities for Chinese managers such as Deng.
Providing a corporate university allows employees to earn promotions locally and also internationally, he said.
A recent survey by the international recruiting firm Hudson found that employee motivation, career development and enhancing leadership skills were listed as the top three issues to address in the coming year.
Hudson polled senior executives at nearly 600 large Chinese companies for the survey.
Other multinational companies with operations in China are offering training opportunities, too.
Procter & Gamble Co has offered management training to local senior executives during its 20 years of operations in China.
Other Fortune 500 companies that have established training centers or corporate universities in China include Intel, General Electric, IBM and Hewlett-Packard.