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Execs optimistic on import expo

By Wang Ying in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2018-10-30 09:28
Top multinational corporations' executives have expressed their enthusiasm for the first China International Import Expo set to launch on Nov 5. [Photo/VCG]

Top multinational corporations' executives have expressed their enthusiasm for the first China International Import Expo set to launch on Nov 5, as part of the nation's efforts to expand opening-up.

While attending the 30th International Business Leaders' Advisory Council, held annually in Shanghai, business leaders said they are optimistic about China's opening-up policy and new opportunities.

"The import expo is unprecedented in China for sure, and it really sends a signal to the global community that China is very open and willing to have imports, which is obviously very important in today's environment," said Mark Weinberger, global chairman and CEO of professional services firm EY, and the advisory council's chairman.

"We believe that the upcoming first China International Import Expo will explore more opportunities to enhance global trade, investment and strategic collaboration activities, especially in areas such as the development of utility services, industrial automation, transportation, artificial intelligence, smart cities and electric vehicles," said Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of automation conglomerate ABB Group.

"I would guess all companies that I am engaged in are involved in one way or another. I think they all consider this to be a very important opportunity to display their products, their know-how, and how interesting they are as a company," said Brian Duperreault, president, CEO and director of finance corporation American International Group Inc.

According to Severin Schwan, CEO of Roche Group, the pharmaceuticals giant will showcase its cutting-edge technology at the import expo, covering early research and development, integrated diagnosis and treatment solutions, and personalised healthcare offerings.

Roche is committed to helping Shanghai position itself as a medical hub for Asia, and is constantly contributing to the long-term growth of China's healthcare sector, Schwan added.

Their optimism about the event is based on the continued efforts from Shanghai's municipal government, and the nation as a whole, in embracing the world's goods and services with open arms.

ABB said on Saturday it will invest $150 million in Shanghai to build its latest robotics factory under the theme of robots making robots. With a production capacity of 100,000 industrial and service-function robots a year, it will supply robots to the global markets.

"Shanghai has become a vital center for advanced technology leadership-for ABB and the world ... We will make full use of the city's existing advantages and make clear the main challenges facing Shanghai, focus support policies on measures that can address the challenges, and develop specific plans and solutions," Spiesshofer said, explaining the company's rationale.

"We are not only seeing progress in Shanghai's reform and opening-up, but we at Roche are taking an active role in the development of China's biomedical industry. Roche will fully leverage its global experience and expertise in biotechnology to support Shanghai's continued evolution, and will work closely with the Shanghai government to continue to contribute to the development of the city's brand," Schwan said.

"The further opening-up of China ... This is very important for the future development of business, foreign business in China. So I have good hope for the future," said Duperreault.

This year's International Business Leaders' Advisory Council is special as it is the 30th anniversary of the first event in 1989, while 2018 also marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up.

With this year's theme of New Era, New Start, New Action, the event has invited the advisory council's members to contribute their high-level perspective on how Shanghai can continue to open up in the new context.

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