Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

Editor's note:

The annual full sessions of the National People's Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference ended with a call for further reform across a wide range of sectors, which is good news for multinational companies operating in China.

And when the worlds second-largest economy rolls out its ambitious package of policies designed to maintain sustainable growth, it will have a huge impact on the global economy.

So, what are global business leaders expecting from China's sweeping reforms? And how do they envision their businesses in China changing?

China Daily queried executives from a variety of global businesses operating in China to get their thoughts.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms


Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

China is putting noticeable efforts into rebalancing its economy. As we know, that is about realigning the reliance of growth away from heavy capital investment with an intense focus on infrastructure to a more domestic consumption-driven growth While facing the intersecting social, environmental and economic problems as well as a sluggish global economy, the challenge is how to manage this transition to avoid instability in society and the country.

To the question of which reform should be addressed first, we believe that "accelerating the integrated system of urban-rural relations" is of key importance because it requires many important concerns to be managed, such as economic restructuring, rural-urban balance, agricultural modernization, non-agricultural economy development, as well as environmental issues.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

A number of new reforms announced at the Third Plenum (of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China)

are very encouraging, such as the acknowledgment of the market's decisive role in allocating resources, transforming government functions and the improvement of the macro-regulatory system and governance.

So, fundamentally, we hope the reforms will provide the catalyst to shape a transparent, fair, healthy and sustainable business environment To us, this is a great opportunity because this will allow Cargill to utilize our key strengths as we continue transferring our best technologies and management systems to China.

Urbanization is another opportunity. The growing demand for safe, high-quality and nutritious food is a significant and irreversible trend that will support our growth in China.

As Chinese people's incomes continue to grow, diets will continue to evolve with increased consumption of protein for instance.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

Since our entry into China in 1974, we have been committed to growing together with our customers, the industry and the country. We now operate more than 50 facilities and can count on 8,000 highly engaged employees in China.

Noticeably, China is moving away from export-driven growth to one led by domestic consumption.

This is particularly good news for Cargill because our investment strategy in China has been and will largely continue to be focused on serving the needs of our Chinese customers.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

The Chinese government's focus on addressing environmental problems will increase our confidence in further investment There is no doubt about that.

Cargill adheres to all environmental regulations in China. We also invest several millions of dollars every year in China to improve our energy efficiencies.




Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms
The success of the Chinese economy in 2014 hinges on corporate China's capability to innovate. Innovation is key to

the country's shift to a more sustainable growth path. The ability to unlock new demand with new technology and business models is needed to breathe life into an economy troubled by flat exports, slowing investments and pent-up domestic consumer needs. Failure to raise its innovation game would not only cut back China's growth rate for 2014

but call into question the country's long-term economic prospects.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms
The biggest challenge for the company is how to demonstrate the value generated by our therapies for different stakeholders.

While the value to patients of these therapies has been obvious, thanks to well-documented clinical outcomes, there has not been enough research of the economics to prove the cost savings and improved efficiency of the overall healthcare system as a result of our disease solutions.

These findings would serve to convince those who pay the bills, as well as hospital administrators and doctors, to adopt our therapies-particularly in smaller cities where public health budgets and hospital resources are under constant strains.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms
There's no reason for Medtronic's growth to stagnate in China over the foreseeable future as the country looks set

to become the world's largest medical technology market.

The aging demographics and fast-paced urbanization work in favor of any company in the healthcare business.

But those in medical technology will benefit most as their therapies will catch on, with the potential to bring down overall medical costs and increase the efficiency of the medical system.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms
Over the past decade, the available talent and knowledge worker pool, as well as the policy environment for multinationals' innovation and manufacturing and intellectual property protection, have been some of the major factors.

Environmental problems will increasingly affect our investment decisions in China. We do hope that the government can solve environmental problems, in particular air pollution, in a sustainable way.



Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms
Building consumer confidence and getting consumers to drive economic growth by spending on things that improve daily lives are key. Also crucial is improving the environment. The current situation is unnerving for people and undermines confidence.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

Rising costs need to be offset by productivity and growth. That is a challenge for us internally but a fabulous opportunity externally since more and more customers are asking us to help them achieve their productivity goals.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms
Demand will grow, driven by all the megatrends, and Dow Corning is ready to respond due to our investment in world-class silicone production, technology and application experts and a commercial team that strives to fully under stand our customers' current and future needs.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms
People are understandably worried, and that will affect their confidence and commitment; we have to keep a close eye on that and look to see where all Dow Corning's global capabilities can be used to help improve the environment.

We will continue to share our expertise here in China to help improve environmental health and safety. We do that as a company and through membership in groups like the Association of International Chemical Manufacturers, where we help promote the Responsible Care initiative, the industry's approach to sustainable management, across our industry in China.

We provide performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of customers.




Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms
At Caterpillar, we are encouraged by the recent policies and reform plans laid out following the Third Plenary Session of the Chinese Communist Party's 18th Central Committee, which put an emphasis on sustainable growth and the environment We think the biggest challenge facing the Chinese economy in 2014 is to maintain moderate growth and sustainability while addressing significant environmental challenges and rolling out reforms.

Some key areas are recommended for the government to focus on and make a priority of reform in 2014.

These include new urbanization, integrated urban-rural development and establishing a modern industrial system to

evolve from a big industrial country to a strong one.

Another important area is energy reform to improve efficiency and a green growth focus to reduce the impact on the environment Those steps are also of critical importance to China's economic growth, in view of the environmental problems that must be dealt with.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms
China's next-phase economic growth will be characterized by innovation, green energy, new urbanization and urban-rural integrated development, as well as efficient use of natural resources and a building-up of an environmental culture, which will generate opportunities in the industries Caterpillar serves in China.

Caterpillar's 'Win in China" strategy is well-aligned with China's economic transformation.

As the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives, Caterpillar has played a positive role in supporting China's infrastructure development, energy production and resource utilization.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms
Caterpillar is committed to long-term development in China We believe that [new economic policies] will mean China's economy records continuous growth in a sustainable way.

New urbanization, integrated urban-rural development and industrial upgrading-as well as green energy-will bring more opportunities for the industries Caterpillar serves in China.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms
Environmental problems have become a big challenge that all stakeholders in China will work together to conquer. Caterpillar, as a leading energy and power solutions provider, is committed to enabling Chinese customers to improve energy efficiency.



Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms
China is one of the biggest agricultural countries and second-largest seed market in the world, while agriculture is still the weakest among the four pursuits of industrialization, IT applications, urbanization and agricultural modernization. China's agriculture has been facing serious challenges such as an increasing population and food demand, shrinking arable land, the use and waste of natural resources, especially water, and climate change,

among others. Therefore, achieving food security in a sustainable way will be a long-term priority goal. That is why food security is identified as the No 1 economic development goal of 2014. Hence, we expect that many reforms will occur in the area of agriculture.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms
Monsanto has been in China since 1923, and in 1996, introduced Bt cotton (a genetically modified variety of cotton) technology into the country which gave Chinese cotton farmers access to advanced insect control cotton seeds that have efficiently controlled bollworms, increased cotton yields, reduced the number of times needed to spray insecticides, increased farmers' incomes and made valuable contributions to the Chinese cotton industry.

We do face challenges. One of our major challenges is to get good high-yield corn hybrids registered in China under the current system to deliver those high-yield varieties into farmers' hands. We believe as a member of the agricultural industry that streamlined and improved crop variety registration regulations and sound intellectual property protection will boost the development of Chinese agriculture.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms
We certainly strive to grow our business in China. Monsanto is a 100 percent agricultural company and agricultural reform will be the focus in the next decade in China. The core business of Monsanto China nowadays is hybrid corn through its joint venture with China National Seed Group Corp and China Seed International Seed Corp Ltd. China is one of the biggest agricultural countries and second-largest seed market in the world, with 34 million hectares of corn planting. At the same time, China imported more than 5 million tons of corn, and the volume is predicted to rise with increasing demand, limited arable land and decreasing natural resources. Monsanto wishes to be the preferred partner to help address the challenges of food security and sustainability and improve farmers' lives in China.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

We are very much concerned about China's pollution issues and environmental condition. At Monsanto, we develop technologies that are aimed at minimizing the environmental impact of farming practices.





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