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Foreign Executives Flock to China in Run-Up to CIIE, Giving Early Boost to Investment

By: Get News

Overseas executives are pouring into China as the first day of the sixth China International Import Expo fast approaches, triggering an early wave of business exchange and investment.

Benjamin Driggs, chief operating officer of global high growth regions at multinational conglomerate Honeywell, will arrive soon to attend the CIIE's opening ceremony, Yu Feng, president of Honeywell China, told Yicai yesterday.

Driggs will also pay visits to clients, suppliers, and local governments to explore opportunities to further expand the US company's business and investment in the Chinese market, Yu noted.

Pankaj Sharma, global executive vice president at Schneider Electric and head of its secure power division, has already landed in China. The Chinese digital technology industry has developed fast Sharma noticed from this visit, he told Yicai, and expressed Schneider's determination to continue investing in the country.

Axalta Coating Systems has raised its investment in the Chinese market in recent years, with a footprint in many areas, Hadi Awada, senior vice president for global transportation coatings at the US firm, told Yicai at the launch ceremony for its new plant in Jilin province on Oct. 24.

The nearly 46,000 square meter new plant is expected to produce about 25,000 tons of coating products annually,mostly for high-performance cars, Awada noted, adding that the factory is equipped with Axalta's most advanced automated production system.

Axalta has also located its Asia-Pacific headquarters and technical development center, as well as a coating plant, in Shanghai, Awada said. "We've been consistently investing in the Chinese market and will continue to do so," he pointed out.

Key Strategic Market

Solvay Chief Executive Officer Ilham Kadri, DuPont COO Drayl Roberts, and Roehm COO Hans-Peter Hauck also visited China since last month, have attended the opening ceremonies of their respective new chemical plants in China.

During her visit, Kadri told the media, including Yicai, that the Chinese market holds a key significance in Solvay's global strategy, so the Belgian company will continue to expand its investment in the Asian country.

Underpinning the influx of foreign executives and their companies' undiminished investment confidence in China is not only the Chinese market's irreplaceability but also the local supply chain's upgrade in manufacture capacity and the nation's research and development capabilities.

No multinational corporation can develop if it does not value the Chinese market, the world's largest single market and second-largest economy, Honeywell China's Yu noted. "Putting down roots in China is a must," he said.

Even if China's demographic dividend is weakening, the quality of the country's population has not been released yet, Yu said, as Chinese engineers are actively working on products that the country's used to be solely depend on imports for. The potential for growth in the local market is still quite significant, he said.

It is normal for Axalta's management to decide to expand the company's local capacity given the sustained increase in profits in the Chinese market in recent years, Awada noted. "Some people are worried about challenges from the economic downturn, but China is becoming the world's biggest auto exporter, so we have full confidence in Axalta's Chinese business," he said.

"Only big markets can attract big projects," Wei Jianguo, VP of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, told Yicai. When asked which option is more cost-effective between importing products to China from the United States or directly building local plants in China, Wei, who is also a former commerce vice minister, said the answer is very obvious for overseas executives. That is why they are all motivated to come to China, he pointed out.

About Yicai Global

Launched in August 2016, Yicai Global is the English-language news service of Yicai Media Group, the financial news arm of Shanghai Media Group, which is one of China's largest state-owned media conglomerates. Focused primarily on China's business world, Yicai Global is dedicated to provide reliable and insightful information and analysis of the economy, finance, tech, startups, and entrepreneurs.

Media Contact
Company Name: Yicai Media Group
Contact Person: Zhu Liming
Email: Send Email
Country: China

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