There is great po­ten­tial in China’s mar­ket

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS -

How do you view China’s world to­day?

The coun­try has played a cru­cial role in the global re­cov­ery with sus­tained pros­per­ity. We are happy to see that China has be­come bet­ter in­te­grated into the world econ­omy and now plays a more (ac­tive) role in global af­fairs.

For Coca-Cola, we con­tinue to be­lieve that China’s mar­ket will serve as a driver for our busi­ness.

As one of the first com­pa­nies based in the United States to re­turn here in the 1970s, we are com­mit­ted to cre­at­ing long-term value for our stake­hold­ers by con­tribut­ing to the fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try.

What is your im­pres­sion of Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping?

It could be a daunt­ing job lead­ing the sec­ond largest econ­omy of the world. But Pres­i­dent Xi is a vi­sion­ary leader.

Un­der his lead­er­ship, China has main­tained sta­ble eco­nomic growth and played an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant role glob­ally. We re­main op­ti­mistic about China’s eco­nomic and mar­ket growth in the fu­ture un­der Pres­i­dent Xi’s lead­er­ship.

What three to­day? words role de­scribe in the China

Glob­al­iza­tion. As the sec­ond largest econ­omy of the world, China has be­come a cham­pion of glob­al­iza­tion. As a multi­na­tional cor­po­ra­tion op­er­at­ing here, Coca-Cola is very pro-trade and em­braces open mar­kets. We are for­tu­nate to have had the op­por­tu­nity to forge a strong, lo­cal part­ner­ship and to serve our Chi­nese con­sumers. Also, we have shared our ex­pe­ri­ence of man­ag­ing a truly in­ter­na­tional busi­ness in more coun­tries and re­gions than there are mem­bers in the United Na­tions.

In­no­va­tion. China is emerg­ing as a global leader in many as­pects. In­no­va­tion has been the driv­ing force as China be­comes a more con­sump­tion-based econ­omy. Aim­ing to sat­isfy the chang­ing con­sumer land­scape, we have made in­no­va­tion a top pri­or­ity to en­sure sus­tain­able growth. Our in­no­va­tion and de­vel­op­ment cen­ter in Shang­hai is our largest out­side the US.

Con­fi­dence. China’s eco­nomic growth dur­ing the past sev­eral decades has been among the high­est in the world. It is ex­pected that China will main­tain a medium-to-high level growth rate with do­mes­tic con­sump­tion one of the key driv­ers of the econ­omy. I feel con­fi­dent about China’s de­vel­op­ment, and at com­pany level, we see great po­ten­tial in this mar­ket.

Could China’s ex­pe­ri­ences and prac­tices be used to solve global problems?

In re­cent decades, China has seen rapid eco­nomic growth and has built a moder­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety.

Th­ese have pro­vided valu­able pol­icy ex­pe­ri­ences and tools for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, which many coun­tries could learn from.

Now, China is grad­u­ally chang­ing to a con­sump­tion-fu­eled and in­no­va­tion­led econ­omy, while keep­ing growth steady. An eco­nom­i­cally sta­ble and grow­ing China not only con­trib­utes to the global re­cov­ery, but also of­fers mod­els for other de­vel­op­ing na­tions.

As a For­tune 500 com­pany, which sec­tors do you think of­fer the most op­por­tu­ni­ties for de­vel­op­ment?

The world is con­nected more closely than be­fore and eco­nomic glob­al­iza­tion is the dom­i­nant trend. China will pur­sue its de­vel­op­ment by ad­her­ing to its vi­sion of in­no­va­tion, sus­tain­able growth, and co­or­di­nated and shared de­vel­op­ment in the global arena.

China’s con­sumer land­scape is evolv­ing and that of­fers more op­por­tu­ni­ties. We are (also) evolv­ing into a to­tal bev­er­age com­pany for our con­sumers with (mul­ti­ple) choices and easy-to-ac­cess nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion. Our re­search and de­vel­op­ment cen­ter in Shang­hai is the largest out­side the US and sig­ni­fies our com­mit­ment to China.

Sus­tain­able growth (is an­other im­por­tant area). Un­der the 13th FiveYear Plan (2016-20), China has been pur­su­ing a low-car­bon model and life­style to pro­mote green de­vel­op­ment and pro­tect eco­log­i­cal sys­tems. This is aligned to our sus­tain­able strat­egy to build a cul­ture of en­vi­ron­men­tal in­no­va­tion. We strive to pro­mote a broad range of sus­tain­able pro­grams to­gether with sup­pli­ers, lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and other stake­hold­ers. And we will re­main com­mit­ted to th­ese be­cause like our mantra, “We are here, and we care”.


Curt Fer­gu­son,

pres­i­dent of Coca-Cola Greater China and South Korea

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