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China market's long-term driver is intact: ABB's CEO

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-09-10 14:43

LONDON - Although China's economy is currently facing a headwind, its long-term driver of the market is intact, given its strong fundamentals and investment commitment to innovation, said tech company ABB's Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Spiesshofer on Wednesday.

Answering Xinhua's questions during the event "Capital Market Day" held here, Spiesshofer said China had indeed witnessed some significant headwind lately, but its long-term driver of market is intact, because "it is still the second largest economy in the world with a huge and growing population, and they will invest in infrastructure automation."

Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, ABB is a global power and automation technologies solution provider, with annual sales of around $40 billion. In 2014, ABB's Chinese market sales were over $5.8 billion, maintaining the second largest market in the world for the company.

Spiesshofer admitted that the overall market was in a tough environment, as lower oil prices have made major oil and gas companies contract their discretionary spending; the company also stayed cautious based on political uncertainty.

The world's largest maker of power grids lowered its annual revenue growth target to 3 percent and 6 percent between 2015 and 2020 from 4 percent and 7 percent previously.

"What we need to do in this environment is try to get as close as possible to our customers. Our 2,500 people we have in research and development in China are really focusing very strongly on locally made products or locally developed products to compensate for the difficulties in Chinese market," said Spiesshofer.

"Our ambition is that we have been in China until now for 108 years, and we are going to stay in China for the long term; we are committed to the market," he said.

Spiesshofer also praised the national "Made in China 2025" strategy, through which China showed it was dedicated to revamping its manufacturing sector.

He said the plan was "very interesting" for Chinese manufacturing sector upgrading. It offers several "strategic opportunities" for companies like ABB in the areas of power and automation.

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