Executives at CIIE welcome Xi's optimism

Photos: SHINE

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech via video link at the opening ceremony of the third China International Import Expo on Wednesday in Shanghai. 

Leaders of other countries also gave speeches via video link, including Pakistani President Arif Alvi, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Papua New Guinean Prime Minister James Marape, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Executives of over 200 leading enterprises from various industries also attended the ceremony, showing their confidence in CIIE. A number of foreign companies gave feedback after Xi's keynote speech.

Claude Sarrailh, president of Metro AG China

President Xi’s keynote speech is highly inspiring and enlightening, (it) brings great confidence to exhibitors like us. Metro has been in China for 25 years, witnessed the rapid and high-quality development of China's economy. With the expansion of all-round opening-up, we are not only bringing more and more well-selected products from all over the world to China, but also seeing more and more international partners, goods suppliers come and invest in China.

Considering the current international market environment and the situation of the pandemic, China’s strategy of “dual circulation” is a far-sighted and pragmatic strategy, which, I believe, will bring high quality and sustainable economic growth for the long term.

I believe that there are three crucial drives — further opening-up and reform, the resilience of the Chinese economy, and the huge consumption potential of the rapidly rising China’s middle-class that will be the foundation and mainstays of the successful implementation of the “dual circulation” strategy.

Kamran Vossoughi, president and CEO of Michelin China

President Xi Jinping’s keynote speech was particularly inspiring, in which he mentioned that “the CIIE will turn exhibits into commodities and exhibitors into investors.” This time we bring many innovative exhibits, hoping to seek more investment and cooperation opportunities to provide Chinese consumers with a safer, smarter, greener and more joyful mobility experience.

What impressed me also was that President Xi emphasized that "you are not a hero if you do not reach the Great Wall." Whether facing the pandemic or economic challenges, what we have to do is not to escape, but to stay confident, brave, and resilient, so that we can respond to challenges and embrace a sustainable future. We also firmly believe that through openness and cooperation, companies and countries can get more opportunities, solve more problems, and share the fruits of high-quality development.

Leon Wang, executive vice president and international & China president of AstraZeneca

At the opening ceremony, President Xi stressed that the people of the world should be united to meet the common challenges. The willingness to unite and the spirit of cooperation the Chinese government has demonstrated in its fight against the pandemic has been very admirable and impressive. Its resounding success in containing the pandemic not only boosted the world’s confidence in curbing the virus, but also provided valuable experience to other countries for coping with the public health crisis.

Xi also reaffirmed China’s new economic policy of dual-circulation of internal and external development, stressing this new development concept means an economy of opening wider to the outside world, which will not only meet China’s needs but also benefit the people of other countries. As we can see, China is continuing to open wider to the global economy and its business environment is improving. The combination of these two factors provides exciting opportunities for multinationals such as ours.

Anna Pawlak-Kuliga, CEO and president of IKEA China

We are impressed and encouraged by what President Xi shared in his speech that "China will be a world's market, a shared market and everyone's market." President Xi's attitude of maintaining development cooperation and vision of promoting international cooperation is all the more meaningful today, when the world economic landscape has undergone profound changes, and we feel the Chinese government's determination and power of action to promote continuous improvement in the business environment and create market opportunities.

The determination and efforts to expand openness, share China's opportunities and promote inclusive development have strengthened IKEA's commitment to the Chinese market. We believe the expo will be a truly win-win platform for IKEA to grow and develop with the Chinese market, and to look forward to a bright future with Chinese society.

Tony Au, general manager of AbbVie China

Xi's remarks reflect that China shares market opportunities with the world. The sincere desire for economic recovery will greatly boost the confidence of Chinese and foreign investors. This year marks AbbVie’s debut at CIIE, and we look forward to embracing the "Chinese Opportunity" and accelerating the introduction of more innovative blockbusters to the Chinese market in the form of an Asia-Pacific debut or even the global premiere.

Since the "Healthy China" strategy was put forward, it has become a programmatic document guiding the vigorous development of the medical and health industry, thanks to the support of national policies such as the review and approval of new drugs and drug access. We will continue to lead the drive for world-leading innovations in China to benefit more patients.

Jean-Paul Agon, president and CEO of L’Oréal

The CIIE itself has become a beacon of reassurance about China’s future. We strongly identify with China’s promise of further facilitating globalization and sharing the future with the world buttressed by knowing the four key foundations — solidarity enhancement, high-quality opening- up, innovation collaboration, and commitment to sustainability.

China’s dual circulation development strategy, which was highlighted in Xi's speech, will certainly contribute to global development and facilitate globalization, boosting economic growth and vitality. With structural reforms such as foreign investment laws and free trade zones, China is opening up, increasing interaction and support between domestic and international markets, and creating a high-quality business environment.

Pius S. Hornstein, general manager and China country lead of Sanofi

I am very excited to see that against the background of fighting against COVID-19 pandemic and revitalizing the Chinese economy, the third China International Import Expo is held as scheduled. This sent to the world a strong signal of openness, inclusiveness, collaboration and mutual prosperity, while also showing the resilience and vitality of the Chinese economy, as President Xi stated.

The business environment of foreign-invested companies in China is continuously being optimized. Six new medicines of Sanofi were introduced in China within just seven months, providing immune protection for approximately 2.5 million infants and young children.

Felix Gutsche, president of Boehringer Ingelheim China's Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan

President Xi Jinping’s opening speech mentioned that the CIIE is a global trade conference where products from all over the world are shown off, displaying the potential of China’s market for the world to see and showing China’s genuine desire to support the recovery of the global economy. We believe that China holding such a large-scale event in the middle of an ongoing global pandemic is a sign of confidence and demonstrates a sense of responsibility.

Last year was our first year at the CIIE. We achieved fruitful results there, and sensed that the CIIE was truly a fantastic opportunity for us to help accelerate China’s development and increase investment. We are very pleased to see that China will continue to optimize its business environment through strengthening intellectual property rights, safeguarding the legal rights of MNCs, and improving business services.

Rajat Agarwal, president of Henkel Greater China

We are excited and inspired by President Xi Jinping’s speech — in particular, his clear message that the Chinese market is a world market, a shared market, a market for all, and that the opening-up measures announced at last year's CIIE have been implemented to the full.

We are also looking forward to the establishment of a “dual cycle” development pattern, whereby domestic and foreign markets can boost each other, to provide a better environment for the development of foreign enterprises in China and open a new chapter of shared opportunities and development in the post-pandemic era.

Lothar Herrmann, president and CEO Siemens Greater China

President Xi's speech shows China’s vision and inclusiveness as a major country of the world. His message is of profound significance in an uncertain global economic environment. At Siemens, we share the same commitment with China — a firm commitment to openness and partnership.

From the “new infrastructure” initiative to the 14th Five-Year Plan, we see new opportunities from China’s new development pattern of “dual circulation.” We also aspire to play a bigger role in the “domestic circulation” of the Chinese economy, and contribute our digital innovation technologies to help transform industries that form the backbone of economies, for the common good of people.

Will Song, global senior vice president and China chairman of Johnson & Johnson

The CIIE is the first national-level exhibition in the world with the theme of import. As an important window for the country to establish a domestic and international "dual circulation," it will greatly strengthen economic and trade exchanges and cooperation among all circles and enhance mutual benefit and win-win results. It will also better meet the needs of the increasingly upgraded domestic market and promote the construction of a new development pattern.

As President Xi Jinping said, “the expo will turn exhibits into commodities and exhibitors into investors.” As an “old friend” of the expo, we have enjoyed the spillover effect of the expo. Many of our exhibits from the last two sessions have already landed in China, bringing real benefits to the Chinese people.

Steven Du, managing director of SGS China

As an international company providing inspection, verification, testing and certification services, we are in agreement with and have a deep understanding of the “openness, cooperation and win-win” as mentioned by President Xi in his speech.

China took the lead in getting over the COVID-19 pandemic, and provided many countries with hundreds of billions of face masks and other epidemic prevention supplies, which showed China's responsibility as a major country and its remarkable contributions to the recovery of the global economy.

We firmly believe that economic globalization is an irreversible trend, no matter what external causes we encounter. A pragmatic and open mind, sincere communication and cooperation are the only way to correctly address the challenges.

Clarence Mak, president of Mars Wrigley China

The successful hosting of 2020 CIIE even in times of the pandemic situation reflects the Chinese government's determination and efforts to strengthen opening-up, connecting China with the world. It is also a strong testament of resilience, thriving business environment and potential of the Chinese market; a clear signal of huge opportunities for us to drive inclusive growth with our partners.

Riding on the momentum inspired by the “dual circulation” development pattern, Mars will continue to strengthen our localized operation and innovation capabilities.