Business / Economy

Panasonic president upbeat on Chinese economy

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-10-19 15:27

BEIJING - Despite signs of softer growth momentum, Kazuhiro Tsuga, president of Panasonic Corporation, has voiced confidence in China's economy, which he said has great potential.

A comparatively lower growth rate is acceptable for the Chinese economy as it is shifting from an investment-driven growth model to a consumption-driven one, Tsuga said in an interview with Xinhua.

The confidence is based on China's adequate employment, stable consumer prices and rising income, which Tsuga said lead to a promising consumer market, adding that the company needs to engage more deeply with Chinese customers.

As Panasonic's largest overseas market, sales in China made up 13 percent of the company's total in 2013. The Japanese electronics giant posted an operating profit of 82.3 billion yen ($774.2 million) in the three months ending in June, up 28 percent from one year earlier.

Panasonic announced earlier this year that it will team up with American electric car maker Tesla Motors to build a large-scale battery manufacturing plant in the US, known as the "Gigafactory."

According to the agreement, Panasonic will manufacture and supply cylindrical lithium-ion cells and invest in the associated equipment, machinery, and other manufacturing tools.

"We are considering bringing these technologies and products into China's auto-manufacturing industry, and seek cooperation with Chinese car producers," Tsuga said.

China's economy grew 7.7 percent in 2013, steady from 2012, but the lowest level since 2001. In the first half of the year, it expanded 7.4 percent from one year earlier.

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