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CEOs optimistic as Davos convenes

China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-17 07:33

Editor's note: The World Economic Forum is held in Davos, Switzerland from Jan 17 to 20. The prospects of the Chinese economy and how it will intertwine with the global economy against the backdrop of increasing uncertainties will be among the topics to be discussed at the forum. We interviewed 18 chief executives from leading multinational companies to share their outlook on China as well as their corporate strategies in 2017.

1. What's your expectation for China's economic growth in 2017? In this regard, what are the major opportunities and challenges for China?

2. How would you align your business strategy with the main themes of China's 13th Five-Year Plan like innovation, upgrading of manufacturing capability, green growth and urbanization?

3. What are your expectations with regard to 2017 revenue and profit of your business in China?

4. What kind of impact will a stronger US dollar and a more flexible renminbi exchange rate have on your business in 2017?

5. Do you plan to increase your investment in China?

CEOs optimistic as Davos convenes

Maximilian Foerst, president, Zeiss China.

A1 Even China's economy is undergoing a slowdown; we are looking today at a China growth rate of approximately 6.7 percent-still one of the most dynamic markets worldwide.

We see much progress in the Made in China 2025, and medical reform. This is actually offering us a lot of growth opportunities as Zeiss is primarily active in the areas of healthcare, research, vision care and of manufacturing excellence. These are all sectors of the Chinese economy that are growing above the average.

From an industrial standpoint, the upgrade of the economy relies very much on the upgrade of capabilities in the manufacturing sector. With our partners in China, we focus on supporting industry with tools and solutions that can enable them to continuously increase efficiency and quality.

A2 Zeiss' business scope is very much in line with the set priorities of the 13th Five-Year Plan as we focus on solutions for improved research and technology, healthcare, and manufacturing excellence.

A3 We are planning to maintain the double digital annual growth rate that we have achieved in the past years.

Our sustainable growth momentum and industry dynamics we see here are fueling us with great confidence in the Chinese market prospects.

A4 Zeiss has a very geographically well-balanced business portfolio, meaning that we benefit from natural hedging and the currency fluctuation will only have limited impact on our business.

We manufacture in the euro, US dollar and renminbi areas. Our China organizations are importing goods from US dollar- and euro-dominated areas for sales in China, and also exporting products to the euro and US dollar zone. These flows will offer us a long-term natural hedging.

A5 Yes. With innovation in China being set as a strategic national priority, this is a particular area where investments will accelerate. We will also continue investing in our staff and infrastructure. We will keep hiring personnel, creating jobs and continuously improving our talent development and training efforts.

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