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China's commitment to global growth, cooperation 'reassuring': GSK CEO

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-01-21 10:45

DAVOS - It was encouraging to see China "championing a new kind of economic globalization" based on innovation, fairness and openness, said British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Plc CEO Andrew Witty.

In a written interview with Xinhua during the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos, Witty said he was certain that China will continue to be a driving force for the global economy.

At a time of relative global economic uncertainty, China's commitment to "open our arms to the people of the world" and "welcome them on board the express train of development" is reassuring, he said.

"I remain optimistic over the prospects of the Chinese economy, and the conditions it will offer multinational companies to achieve sustainable and healthy business in China," he added.

While the Chinese economic growth has slowed down in recent years, Witty said the country's 6.7-percent growth in 2016 was still "impressive".

China's economy expanded 6.7 percent year-on-year in 2016, a slowdown from the 6.9-percent growth registered in 2015, National Bureau of Statistics data showed on Friday.

The growth, although it was China's slowest annual expansion in 26 years, is likely to top all other major economies, according to a report released on Jan 16 by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Witty also looked forward to a continued partnership and long-term sustainable success in China whose government "has put people's lives at the core of its most recent round of healthcare reforms".

"Under the guidance of these new measures, we will strive to bring innovative medicines to China and improve access to them in order to help build healthier communities, and improve the lives of people in China," he said.

Witty also said that the Belt and Road Initiative -- underpinned by increased social-economic connectivity, consultation, sharing and building -- can play a central role in reducing the risk of pandemics as well as their impacts on affected population.

"The global response to the various threats we have seen over the last 10 or 12 years has been precarious each time," he said.

The Belt and Road Initiative proposition to "build a community of shared future and destiny for mankind and achieve shared and win-win development" will help create the right conditions to foster much better readiness for the world to act against such threats, Witty continued.

Witty said that the fourth industrial revolution and its focus on innovative technologies will help steer the status quo away from a curative mind-set and more towards a preventive one.

This also falls in line with GSK's drive to back efforts seeking to develop new vaccines to contain disease outbreaks before they lead to global heath emergencies.

"We are seeking partnership and support from countries and organizations, and would very much welcome China's participation," he concluded.

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