Senior executives from 20 multinational companies visit post-epidemic Wuhan

A delegation of 40 chief executive officers and senior executives from 20 multinational companies in China visited Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei Province, on Friday.


Delegates from 20 multinational companies visited the Tongji Hospital Guanggu division, Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, September 4, 2020. (Photo: Chang Jiang News)

The group included representatives from Panasonic, the Thales Group, Knorr-Bremse, Dow, Nokia, Citibank, BHP Billiton and Amway. They visited several locations, like the Wuhan National Bioindustry Base and an optical fiber and cable manufacturer.

"Twenty multinational companies donated 150 million yuan (about 21.9 million U.S. dollars) worth of materials and cash to Wuhan after the COVID-19 epidemic hit the city," said Lin Songtian, head of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, adding the timing of the visit shows these companies' recognition and support for Wuhan and China's resumption of work and production.

Joseph Han, Managing Director of Knorr-Bremse China said the main purpose of the Wuhan visit is to facilitate cooperation. Based in Munich, Knorr-Bremse is one of the world's leading manufacturers of braking systems and supplier of sub-systems for rail and commercial vehicles. The company has over 4,600 employees in 13 Chinese cities, including Shiyan, in Hubei.

Han said the Shiyan branch started to build Wuhan R&D Center in late 2019, and it was expected to be completed at the end of 2020. As Wuhan is recovering from the epidemic quickly, he believes once the center is finished, it will provide better and quick services for commercial vehicles in China, especially for Dongfeng vehicles.

"I've been to Wuhan for many times, but I've never been as excited as I am now. The city has withstood the tests of the epidemic and the flood," Han said, "After visiting the Wuhan National Bioindustry Base, I was amazed. There are so many new technologies, which have attracted a lot of domestic and international companies and talents."

Markus Borchert, President of Nokia Greater China and CEO of Nokia Shanghai Bell, said he was impressed by the recovery of China's travel and business activities as other countries are stilling suffering the economic challenges brought by COVID-19.

"The fact that people are able to travel as freely as they did, shows that China has efficiently managed the COVID-19 epidemic," Borchert said.

During the pandemic, Nokia Shanghai Bell, together with Hubei Telecom, built the first 5G communication base station for Huoshenshan Hospital on January 25. "I'm proud that Nokia workers have joined the fight against the coronavirus on the front line," Borchert said, adding it only took them one and a half days to finish the job.

"Nokia has been in China for more than 40 years and has been part of the growth of the Chinese economy,"Borchert said, adding the digital transformation will be the strongest engine to support China's economic recovery.