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MNCs eye massive chances in China's logistics

China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-27 06:46

NEW YORK - Multinational giants - including FedEx, KKR and WPP - are eyeing enormous new business opportunities in China as the middle income population of the world's second biggest economy surpasses 600 million, 700 million in the foreseeable future.

"Our focus in China has been 100 percent on the consumer. We don't focus on export businesses, we focus on local consumption as the consumers have gone up in their purchasing power," said Henry R. Kravis, co-chairman and co-CEO of leading American global investment group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

Kravis was recently sharing KKR's success stories with about 100 multinational giants present at the Fortune leadership dinner in New York, entitled "Multinationals in China: Maximizing the Opportunity."

For example, Kravis said, a syndicated farm group KKR built a few years ago now has 290,000 cows in 29 farms in China.

"The opportunity just goes to what is needed in China. Whether it's environment, whether it's food safety, whether it focuses on the consumer," he added.

The event, moderated by Alan Murray, chief content officer of Time Inc. and editor-in-chief of Fortune, was held in honor of China's fast-growing megacity of Guangzhou which will host the 2017 Fortune Global Forum on Dec. 6-8 this year.

"I'm happy to announce that we are launching liaison offices in Boston and Silicon Valle," said Cai Chaolin, Guangzhou's vice mayor in his speech.

There is no better choice than Guangzhou for hosting the world's economic forum, Cai said.

In 1784, a merchant vessel named the Empress of China set off from New York Harbor, loaded with American ginseng, leather and cotton and arrived in Guangzhou after six months' journey. It took home tea, chinaware and silk, opening a brand new chapter in China-US bilateral trade.

The floor was quickly given to multinational giants following the mayor's introduction of his 2,231-year-old city, which is economically ranked the third in the Chinese mainland after Beijing and Shanghai, and which is on a par with Hong Kong and Singapore.

Frederick W. Smith, CEO of the world's biggest express transportation company FedEx, said his group had established an Asia-Pacific transshipment center in Guangzhou, through which many of its clients had gained access to China.

He said that there were great opportunities in the gradual liberalization of the logistics and transport sector in China, as the country's economy was transforming from the export-oriented to consumer-driven.


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