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Smart technology will be a crucial trend

China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-11 08:04

Smart technology will be a crucial trend

Jim Umpleby, CEO of Caterpillar. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Editor's Note:

The Communist Party of China will hold its 19th National Congress on Oct 18. In the runup to the meeting, China Daily interviewed business leaders from major multinational companies for their views on economic developments here and the country's global leadership role.

Jim Umpleby is CEO of Caterpillar Inc, a global corporation which manufactures construction equipment such as excavators.

What factors will boost growth this year and in 2018, and what are the challenges facing China's economy?

With connections along the route, western China has a role to play in the success of the Belt and Road Initiative. We believe a thriving western region will boost the country's growth. Increasing demand for infrastructure will provide opportunities.

The Made in China 2025 strategy was created to stimulate innovation and unleash opportunities across the manufacturing industry. The goal is to transform the country into a high-end, global manufacturing (center).

Today, Caterpillar products manufactured at our China facilities are exported to Thailand, the Middle East and Africa.

As for challenges, cutting overcapacity will be necessary for the long-term benefits of the economy. We support the government's deepening of supply-side structural reform. It is another step closer to sustainable development.

As a Fortune 500 company, which sectors do you think offer the most opportunities for development?

Important fundamentals-population growth, urbanization and the rising middle class-remain in place. Customers using Caterpillar's equipment-from construction and mining machinery to engines to power systems, and electro-diesel locomotives-also support the development of infrastructure, energy and power in China as they have done in the past.

With the government's strategic initiatives, such as upgrading infrastructure, sustainable urbanization, the Belt and Road Initiative and energy reform, the construction industry is experiencing (growth). Also, the need for energy will continue to grow as the world's population increases.

What opportunities will the Belt and Road Initiative throw up for China and the rest of the world?

It will contribute to economic development, improve living standards and accelerate industrialization in Belt and Road economies.

Since the focus is on infrastructure connectivity, this is a long-term opportunity for Caterpillar and our Chinese customers. In collaboration with them, our machines have built roads, highways, dams, portals and city infrastructure from Africa to Asia, and from the Middle East to South America. We are well positioned and enthusiastic in our support of our Chinese customers to succeed in Belt and Road projects.

What are the most innovative trends or products in China?

Smart technology, which increases efficiency in high-speed trains, is a growing trend in China as the country pursues long-term sustainable growth. Caterpillar has been encouraged by China's efforts and achievements in advancing innovation and manufacturing. Our manufacturing excellence and use of innovation is closely aligned to the government's Made in China 2025 strategy.

China is known as a manufacturing giant, but what will the country's "calling card" be in the future?

According to the World Bank, the Chinese economy contributes more than 30 percent to global growth. In the 2015 Millennium Development Goals Report issued by the United Nations, the country was cited as having achieved a 70 percent reduction in poverty during the past 30 years.

We will continue to contribute to the economy and support China as it moves forward with its sustainability goals. Our philanthropic organization, the Caterpillar Foundation, focuses on poverty alleviation in the country and around the world by building "human infrastructure", and improving access to education for people in need.

We support sustainable development in terms of economic and social growth.

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