Business / CEO roundtable on new normal

Sound IP protection critical to Syngenta

( Updated: 2015-03-13 16:12

Editor's note: With the annual sessions of the National People's Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference ending with a call to adapt to "new normal", sat down with global business leaders to get their views on the reform process and lowering of the growth target.

Here are the excerpts of Pierre Cohadon, Syngenta China President.

Sound IP protection critical to Syngenta

Pierre Cohadon

What impressed you the most about the annual Government Work Report released during the ongoing two sessions of China's top legislative and advisory bodies in Beijing? What do you think was the most important issue raised by the government in this report compared with the previous sessions?

The report strikes me as a clear demonstration of confidence. The 7% GDP growth target has factored in the negative impact from weak external (global) demand, environmental pressure and economic restructuring. The 7% target provides room for deeper reform and a shift from quantity to quality – a domestic demand driven economy. 7% is still a relatively high growth rate and this will be driven by new growth engines, innovation and industry upgrading. I believe this thinking and approach will help China achieve more sustainable economic growth.

In the Government Work Report, Premier Li Keqiang said that the nation's economic growth rate would be adjusted to 7 percent. Do you think your company should adjust its development strategy in China?

China's more environmentally-friendly growth model is encouraging for us. As a leading global agriculture company, Syngenta has a responsibility to support governments all over the world to address the challenge of achieving food security challenge and achieving this in a sustainable way. Our Good Growth Plan, for example, aims at increasing average productivity of the world's major crops by 20% without using more inputs and rescuing millions of hectares of farmland.

The close alignment between our strategy and the direction of China's agriculture modernization will result in positive outcomes for Syngenta.

Amid the global economic slowdown, especially in developed economies, and China's economic adjustment, what is your greatest concern about your company's operations in China?

We have seen operating costs rising rapidly in China, which has presented some challenges for our business here. That said, we hope China's new emphasis on scientifically and technologically driven agricultural development will support our growth aspirations and help us achieve continued success in China.

Which aspect of China's social and economic reforms should be improved in order to enhance the investment environment to attract more foreign companies?

As an R&D-based company, sound intellectual property protection is critical to our business. I'm glad to see the government is taking significant steps to strengthen the rule of law and develop innovation-driven economy. Both of these initiatives will help improve overall IP protection in China and provide stronger incentives for investment in new technology.

Do you think your company will develop faster in China than the previous year in terms of growth rate or market penetration?

I'm encouraged about our continued success in China. Agriculture and technology are in Syngenta's DNA if you like and both these sectors have been identified as key engines of China's economic growth. We will fully leverage our innovation capabilities and continue to deliver new products and solutions to meet needs of Chinese farmers and agriculture modernization.

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