Business / Economy

Chinese economy still full of vitality: Panasonic president

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-05-31 10:18

BEIJING - "Despite pessimistic talk about the Chinese economy in some Japanese media, I'm constantly impressed by the changes brought about by China's rapid economic development every time I come," Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga said.

The market and the government are simultaneously playing a vital role in the Chinese economy, and China's potential is immeasurable given its huge population and vast market, Tsuga said in a recent interview with Xinhua while attending a business forum in Beijing.

Tsuga, 59, has visited China eight times since he took the helm of the Japanese electronics giant four years ago.

Tsuga said he was impressed by the development of Chinese high-speed railways, which is "several times faster than its Japanese counterpart," and is propelling the development of relevant infrastructure in China.

Tsuga is also highly optimistic about the growth of new-energy cars in China, which he thinks would be especially promising with the adoption of stricter environmental protection standards in the country.

He believes new-energy vehicles will grow rapidly in China and will lead the development of this industry across the world.

"China is a country to which Panasonic can contribute, especially in the sphere of environmental protection," he said.

With first-class lithium battery technology, Panasonic announced in 2014 a decision to jointly set up a super lithium battery factory in the United States with the U.S. electrical vehicle maker Tesla. It hopes to reduce battery costs through mass production, and thus promote the popularization of electrical vehicles.

As a giant of the Japanese home appliance industry, Panasonic will celebrate its centenary in 2018. In striving to change its image as a "home appliance provider", Panasonic eyes the automobile industry as one of the focuses of its transformation drive.

In the 2011 fiscal year (from April 2011 to March 2012), Panasonic registered the biggest deficit in its history of as much as 772.17 billion yen ($9.66 billion).

Since becoming Panasonic's president in June 2012, Tsuga has decisively closed those declining industry like plasma panels, and shifted its focus to automobiles and vehicle-mounted services, housing and B2B businesses. As a result, Panasonic transformed itself ahead of other old home appliance makers in Japan.

Panasonic's experience shows that transformation must be speedy. In today's globalized world, businesses without technological edges can be easily squeezed out of the market by powerful competitors.

Talking about Panasonic's development plan, Tsuga noted that his company would give its overseas teams a bigger role to play with hopes of pooling talents from around the world to promote its development and building favorable mechanisms to cope with all sorts of changes.

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