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Canon to expand footprint in China with stronger local ties

Japanese tech firm eyes more sales in nation; bullish on growth prospects

By FAN FEIFEI | China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-14 09:17
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Visitors check out Canon products while performers wearing traditional Chinese apparel stage a performance during a camera expo in Beijing on Friday. [DU JIANPO/FOR CHINA DAILY]

Japanese tech company Canon Inc will intensify efforts to deepen cooperation with its Chinese partners and further tap the immense potential of China's consumer market, given that new business opportunities brought by technological innovation are arising in the world's second-largest economy, said a senior company executive.

"China serves as one of the most important markets in Canon's global business layout, and we have set the goal of making Canon China No 1 in terms of sales within the whole group by 2035," said Howard Ozawa, executive vice-president of Canon, and president and CEO of Canon China.

Ozawa said that despite pressures and challenges, the long-term fundamentals of China's economy remain intact and he is upbeat about the country's economic growth prospects.

The Chinese authorities have rolled out a series of measures to spur consumption in electronics, tourism and other sectors since the beginning of this year, leading to a strong rebound in domestic cultural and travel business and a sustained recovery in consumer spending, he said.

"Canon is confident in the continuous improvement of China's business environment and huge development potential of the Chinese market," Ozawa said, adding that the company will continue to collaborate with local partners to develop, produce and offer products and services that are tailor-made for the Chinese market in response to consumers' evolving needs.

As one of the first batch of foreign companies that entered China, Canon intends to introduce its mature products and services from the Chinese market to other countries around the world.

As for the United States and some European countries recently claiming China's "overcapacity" in the new energy sector, Ozawa said he did not agree with the allegation as different countries are at various stages of development, and some Western countries might be jealous of China's meteoric rise in some emerging industries.

He said the rapid development of China's new energy industry has made significant contributions to the global low-carbon and green transformation.

Ozawa said China continuously strives to expand its scope of opening-up to the outside world while promoting high-quality economic development and formulating policies to attract investment. "These efforts ensure that both foreign and domestic enterprises benefit from a fair, just, open and convenient business environment in the country," he added.

In addition, this year's Government Work Report underlined that China will strive to modernize its industrial system and develop new quality productive forces at a faster pace.

Ozawa said the new quality productive forces are mainly led by scientific and technological innovation, and Canon aims to bolster innovation and seek diverse collaboration methods with leading Chinese firms.

"China will continue to play a crucial role in driving global economic growth and safeguarding the security and stability of global industrial and supply chains," said Zhang Jianping, director of the China Center for Regional Economic Cooperation, which is part of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

He said that China will hold a greater appeal for foreign companies, especially those in the manufacturing sector, given the nation's unwavering efforts to expand high-standard opening-up by removing all restrictions on foreign investment access in the manufacturing sector and continuously optimizing its business environment.

The Ministry of Commerce said actual foreign direct investment in China came in at 301.67 billion yuan ($41.7 billion) in the first quarter, remaining at a high level.

The country's high-tech manufacturing sector attracted 12.5 percent of the FDI inflows in the first quarter, up 2.2 percentage points year-on-year.

"A series of supportive policies aimed at drawing more foreign investment, such as a shortened negative list for market entry, pilot free trade zones and implementation of the Foreign Investment Law, have all created favorable conditions for more foreign businesses to invest in the country," Zhang added.

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