US firms up­beat on long-term ben­e­fits

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By HE WEI in Shang­hai hewei@chi­ Shi Jing con­tributed to this story.

United States com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing in China re­gard the coun­try as a strate­gi­cally im­por­tant mar­ket and an­tic­i­pate long-term growth de­spite the cur­rent trade fric­tions.

“Glob­al­iza­tion and open trade are ab­so­lutely an un­stop­pable trend,” Matt Tsien, pres­i­dent of Gen­eral Mo­tors China, said on Tues­day on the side­lines of the on­go­ing China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo in Shang­hai.

Tsien said that many in­dus­tries, in­clud­ing the au­to­mo­bile sec­tor, are very much re­liant on global in­te­gra­tion so that “glob­al­iza­tion pro­vides ul­ti­mately the best ben­e­fits for ev­ery­one”.

Stephen Bad­ger, chair­man of the board of di­rec­tors of US food com­pany Mars Inc, echoed the open­ing speech of the expo given by Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping on sup­port­ing eco­nomic glob­al­iza­tion, open­ing-up and in­clu­sive devel­op­ment, say­ing th­ese are “all prin­ci­ples that Mars stands by as well”.

“The expo is a plat­form that goes be­yond China — it is a truly global event driv­ing devel­op­ment across all Chi­nese in­dus­tries by pro­mot­ing co­op­er­a­tion among gov­ern­ment and busi­ness en­ti­ties as well as pro­mot­ing glob­al­iza­tion and trade lib­er­al­iza­tion,” Bad­ger said.

Mars is among some 180 US en­ter­prises par­tic­i­pat­ing in the world’s first im­port themed ex­hi­bi­tion held at a na­tional level, and the com­pany views the event as “an im­por­tant sig­nal for con­tin­ued open­ing-up and a won­der­ful in­vi­ta­tion for cross-bor­der col­lab­o­ra­tion”.

“The oc­ca­sional lit­tle storm won’t have a big im­pact on the long-term di­rec­tion,” said Clay Nesler, vice-pres­i­dent of global en­ergy and sus­tain­abil­ity at John­son Con­trols, a multi­na­tional com­pany with ex­ten­sive US hold­ings, that adopts tech­nolo­gies to make build­ings safer, smarter and more sus­tain­able.

Nesler said the com­pany has long seen China as a long-term growth mar­ket, and the on­go­ing expo is an im­por­tant sig­nal that China wants to be open and can po­ten­tially cre­ate lots of op­por­tu­ni­ties for com­pa­nies from around the world to par­tic­i­pate in this grow­ing mar­ket.

“When it comes to the many (bi­lat­eral) is­sues, as long as peo­ple work to­ward a bet­ter fu­ture, there is enough brain power and his­tory of col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween com­pa­nies, peo­ple and na­tions that I think we can over­come that,” Tsien said.

China has also be­come an in­te­gral part in the growth plans of many US busi­nesses, not just be­cause of its sheer size but also due to its strate­gic im­por­tance, ac­cord­ing to Stephen Shafer, pres­i­dent of 3M China, a diver­si­fied man­u­fac­turer.

“China is ac­tu­ally be­com­ing the leader in many mar­kets and tech­nolo­gies that we are in­ter­ested in,” said Shafer, re­fer­ring to dig­i­tal plat­forms in China that help com­pa­nies en­gage with cus­tomers.

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