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's economy is slow in a but is still on track to achieve a much higher growth than its Western peers in 2014.

China is urbanizing rapidly, and this is driving its social and economic transformation. One of the biggest challenges it is facing is how it can better cope with this unprecedented urbanization.

The urbanization has given rise to new and enormous challenges, especially regarding ecological deterioration, traffic congestion and the increasing demand for energy and safety.

Addressing these challenges will take concerted efforts. The Chinese government needs to encourage investment in sustainability, but, more important, it needs to enhance enforcement of relevant laws and regulations. Financial institutions also must improve financing platforms and channels to support relevant businesses.

We shall also explore innovative pricing mechanisms to encourage environmentally friendly practices among the general public.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

Honeywell continued to realize double-digit growth in China in 2013 despite a challenging macroeconomic is environment Last year, China became Honeywell's biggest market outside the United States.

This is for a number of reasons, but urbanization plays an important part. It is a trend that perfectly lines up with Honeywell's strategic goal of helping China build "smart cities" that are more comfortable and energy-efficient, more innovative and productive, safer and more secure.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

I'm very confident that you will seen Honeywell continuing to expand its business in China over the next five years.

Innovation has been the driver of Honeywell's sustained development and worldwide growth, and this is particularly true in China.

I am proud of our locally developed innovations. In 2013, we generated more than 500 inventions and 90 patents in China.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

The environmental problems do not affect our investment or operations in China. Instead our industry-leading expertise in energy efficiency, clean air and personal protection equipment positions us to participate in the extensive national investments we anticipate in this area.



Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

We do not comment on political matters. but reflecting on me situation of our industry, we do believe that there continues to be opportunities to increase efficiencies and take cost out of supply chains through further deregulation and by giving full play to the market One of the issues afflicting the maritime sector is ove-capacity, an issue also affecting many other industries. Further reforms toward promoting fair and open competition and allocation of capital on market terms could contribute to resolve this problem.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

We are still seeing great opportunities in China. As for the container transportation industry, we believe the current focus on becoming an increasingly consumption-riven economy holds great potential for our industry. While trade growth in China today may no longer reach the double-digit percentage levels of past years, trade growth in absolute terms will still be significant

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

Definitely. China is currently Maersk Line's largest cargo origin, and the current efforts to support a gradual shift to a consumption-driven economy in China should provide great opportunities for us. The low market penetration of 3PLs (third-party logistics) in China leaves great opportunities for 3PLs such as Damco, the logistics arm of Maersk Group, to further expand its business in China assisting our customers to optimize their supply chains.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

We share the concerns with everyone else here in China with regards to the effect of pollution on the health and quality of life of people. We are committed to being apart of the solution and are setting aggressive environmental targets for our activities while supporting industry action.



Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

China's economy is facing a quite challenging transition, but it also indicates robust market potential and a clear reform strategy for a bright future in 2014.

I can't agree with the top Chinese leadership more in calling for all-round efforts to conserve resources and curb pollution, rather than sacrifice the environment for temporary economic growth. 3M is providing transformational products and solutions, such as N95 respirators (the N95 respirator is the most common of the seven types of particulate filtering facepiece respirators), air purifiers and water purification systems that help the Chinese to tackle the challenging environment and improve their lives.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

With the growth challenges, normally you need to think about resource prioritization, tightening up spending on things, but 3M is unique. We lead a "lean" business process by defining customer needs, measuring key aspects of the current process, analyzing data to investigate cause- and-effect relationships, improving the current process and controlling the future state of the process

Also, we see a huge opportunity to accelerate local growth through proactive change: accelerating local new-product introduction, optimizing product portfolios, maximizing geographic coverage and enhancing distribution channels.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

China is transforming from an export-oriented economy to a service and domestic demand-oriented one, which is good for rebalancing both within China and in the global markets

In this case, we have tremendous potential in China When you look at the size of our business and the size of opportunities, I am nothing but optimistic about the direction in which we are headed and our ability to get there.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms
Sustainability is embedded in every aspect of our business, including the products we make and how we market them.

By taking the current smog situation as an example, you can see a lot of people have chosen to wear 3M respirators and learned about the proper fitting of them. It means opportunities for us but, more important, I'm glad to see we are able to help people improve their lives.

Considering the environmental problems, we also made a decision to reassign many people from a shrinking business into a faster-growing business. An example of a fast-growing business is water purification. We grew it from 6 million yuan (nearly $1 million) to 25 million yuan in two years.



Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

Allowing the market to play a decisive role in resource allocation has implications for every sector of the economy. Increased competition and improved access to capital markets will create better conditions for the most innovative and entrepreneurial businesses.

History shows that the invisible hand of the market is better than the government in identifying the most effective and efficient service providers.

There are a few key reforms in particular that could bring enormous benefits to the national economy.

These include separation of government functions from the management of State-owned enterprises, which could increase management's focus on efficiency and share-holder value.

Improvements to the bankruptcy system and phasing out of implicit government credit guarantees for SOEs could nurture a "culture of creditworthiness" in China's business and financial services sectors.

With experienced professionals, we help organizations solve their business problems.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

We are very optimistic about the growth prospects for China's economy.

As Chinese companies compete at home and abroad, they face a rapidly changing, highly complex and increasingly integrated global marketplace, as well as a constantly evolving regulatory environment

PwC's accounting and advisory services help our clients successfully confront those challenges.

One of the challenges facing public accounting firms is that of developing talent quickly enough to meet the growing needs of clients.

Another challenge to our profession is the tendency toward protectionism.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

We are confident that China's economy will continue growing. As the Chinese economy grows, so will the demand for corporate leaders to manage increasing complexity in their operations and accelerating change in the business environment. PwC is well-positioned to serve those leaders with high-quality professional services and advice.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

Environmental problems can affect our ability to recruit talented individuals to work in cities where pollution levels are high.

They can also affect the decisions of our clients regarding the location of investments and operations.

At the same time, we provide services and advice that can help our clients in the public and private sectors to improve practices and policies that affect the environment.

----- DAVID WU


Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms
After more than 30 years of remarkable economic development, China is facing challenges brought by limited resources, environmental burdens and increased labor costs. But we do see the government making great strides in addressing these issues. China has set its sights on reform and stable economic growth in 2014.

Furthermore, the government is constantly highlighting the importance of quality GDP growth, putting more emphasis on public well-being and the environment, striving for "efficient, quality and sustainable economic development".

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

Today, Alstom is represented in China through 30 entities with approximately 9,000 employees.

Fierce competition and overcapacity in industries are underlying challenges we are facing. They will lead us to further adapt our footprint through more localization, long-term partnerships, adapted product portfolio, research and innovation and development of local talent

Meanwhile, as a foreign company in China, it is imperative for us to understand the characteristics of local markets and customers.

I very much look forward to Alstom being recognized by the government, customers, the market and the public as a local company, making real contributions to the country's economic and social development.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms
China is obviously one or me on-zest and tartest-developing markets in the world. As a longstanding partner that China can trust, and building on the worldwide strength of our core businesses, Alstom is more determined than ever to cement its reputation as a key player, providing infrastructure solutions that are crucial to China's economic development, social progress and environmental protection.

China represents the future of the global economy. We believe China will remain the world's largest and fastest-growing single market in the long run.

With China's rapid economic development, we will see a growing demand for solutions with the most advanced technologies and best standards of quality.

This will provide tremendous business opportunities for companies such as Alston that are renowned for cutting-edge technology and operational excellence.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms
Environmental issues are not taced by unina alone; they are global issues. Last September, the government released a tough action plan for air pollution prevention and control, from which we are starting to see tangible results including easing surpluses in production capacity and limiting cars on the road.

----- GAO YAN


Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

One of the biggest challenges China faces today is how to address the country's demographic changes and their impact on economic growth.

China's population is aging rapidly-the number of people over the age of 60 is expected to reach 437 million by 2050, which will account for 30 percent of the population. This shift will cause an increase in demand for healthcare, putting stress on existing systems. China will need to adapt to these changes, and innovation is the key.

Innovation-driven efforts in healthcare need further support from the government. There are a few key areas of focus in 2014, including boosting investment in areas such as basic R&D, clinical research and talent development, and incentivizing innovation-driven industries and projects by creating a policy structure that enables fast access to the market.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms
China continues to be an important, growing market for Novartis, and our priorities here are clear. Companies like Novartis have a lot to offer to the continued improvement of quality of life and health in China. Novartis is prioritizing different models of care for the very diverse needs of the Chinese population-from focusing research

on diseases common to Chinese patients such as liver cancer, gastric cancer and autoimmune diseases, to partnering with local governments, nonprofits and community leaders to improve access and health education in rural areas.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms
As the aging population and the incidence of chronic diseases continue to increase exponentially in emerging markets, the demand for healthcare grows, as well. Novartis is shifting its focus toward these fast-growing

markets, and China is a priority for us. We have already built a strong presence in China, with seven facilities in total. With these investments, we have laid a solid foundation for our growth in the country in the years to come.

Global business leaders weigh in on reforms

Environmental issues are a global challenge. For China in particular, rapid economic expansion and urbanization have put tremendous strain on the environment. For Novartis, protecting the environment is a key element of our commitment to doing business responsibly. We aim to conserve natural resources and limit the environmental impact of our activities and products.



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