Multinational companies to play a part in China's further opening-up

Zhang Yi
This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up, and China has taken a raft of measures and policies to open its doors wider.
Zhang Yi
Multinational companies to play a part in China's further opening-up
Dong Jun / SHINE

A man walks past a poster at the National Exhibition and Convention Center, where the China International Import Expo was held between November 5 and 10. 

The China International Import Expo, which concluded on Saturday, vividly depicted how countries, together with their businesses, can come together to foster global growth through free trade and mutually-beneficial collaboration.

President Xi Jinping said at the opening ceremony that China will unlock the potential for imports, widen market access, create a top-notch business environment, and promote international cooperation at multilateral and bilateral levels.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up, and China has taken a raft of measures and policies to open its doors wider. The inaugural import expo lured more than 3,600 companies from all over the world, among which many are multinational companies that entered the Chinese market decades ago and expanded rapidly amid the country’s opening-up initiative.

Between October 29 and November 12, an exhibition, of which Shanghai Daily is a key organizer, is being held at the Hongqiao Paradise Walk, adjacent to the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), where the CIIE was located.

An exhibition with stories to tell

The exhibition tells the stories of multinational companies growing with China’s 40 years of reform and opening-up who served as “participants, witnesses, contributors and beneficiaries.”

With three sections titled “Dream Big,” “Better Life” and “Sustainability,” 42 cases from 40 multinational companies are displayed, covering such sectors as manufacturing, automobile, technology, safety, and health care.

The “Dream Big” session features cases in which companies benefited from China’s overall layout of integrating global resources for the good of the world.

For example, the China-made large aircraft C919 benefits from the LEAP-1C engine produced by GE Aviation’s joint venture CFM International, integrated aviation systems by United Technologies and lubricants by Lanxess.

China’s economy has been shifting from a rapid-growth stage to high-quality growth, according to Xie Liping, vice president of government relations, Asia Pacific of United Technologies.

“The Chinese government pays much attention to digitization and intelligent manufacturing," Xie said. "We are speeding up to improve our digitizing capability to promote the transition of products and services and to bring an evolution of the customer experience."

The “Better Life” session offers highlights in the health care and testing services, showing that multinational companies have benefited from rapid growth and increasing opening-up of the Chinese market, while contributing to setting standards and fostering technological development in China.

Bristol-Myers Squibb came to China in 1982 as the first Sino-US pharmaceutical company in China.

“The expectation of a better life from people also increases their demand for high quality drugs and medical services. We see more opportunities than challenges in the country’s medical and health care industry,” says Shirley Zhao, general manager and president of Bristol-Myers Squibb for the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.

Multinational companies to play a part in China's further opening-up
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

An exhibition that tells the stories of multinational companies growing with China’s 40 years of reform and opening-up is held at the Hongqiao Paradise Walk, adjacent to the National Exhibition and Convention Center.

TUV Rheinland, a German company providing testing, inspection and certification services, has developed from a small office in Shanghai into the company’s largest testing and inspection center in Asia.

“In the 1990s, only national laboratories were authorized to conduct (testing and inspection) services in China, but today we see that state-owned, foreign-invested and privately-owned labs are equally working together and we test more and more innovative products with high quality,” said Lutz Frankholz, managing director of TÜV Rheinland (Shanghai) Co Ltd.

The “Sustainability” section tells the stories of multinational corporations devoted to exploring new energy sources and improving energy efficiency, especially wind power generation, bio-gas purification, hydrogen energy utilization and natural gas conversion.

GE Renewable Energy has provided 46.7 billion kilowatt hours of clean electric power for China, equivalent to reducing 46 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Cabot worked on improving energy efficiency through technological innovation in China as early as 1988.

“The Xingtai plant and the Jiangxi plant have achieved zero waste water discharge. The emission of sulfur dioxide, nitric oxide and dust in all of our plants are much lower than the levels required by national standards,” said Jeff Zhu, senior vice president of Cabot Corporation and president of Asia Pacific Region of Cabot.

The cases in the exhibition were chosen from about 80 candidates, which all highlighted China’s efforts to constantly improve its business environment, capacities and competitiveness.

“As China continues to open up to the world with a focus on high-quality growth, the pace of industrial transformation and upgrade is accelerating, and foreign investment is shifting from labor-intensive sectors into high-end sectors such as high-tech services and high-end manufacturing,” said Shirley Xie, consulting service chief of PwC for the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, a partner in the exhibition.

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