Celebrating 40 years of reform

Multinational companies discussed China's 40 years of reform and their experiences at the Reform and Development Forum in Shanghai yesterday.

Filmed by Zhou Shengjie. Edited by Zhong Youyang. Translated by Wang Xinzhou. Polished by Andy Boreham.

Dong Jun / SHINE

Guests speak at the Reform and Development Forum in Shanghai on November 29, 2018.

Multinational companies discussed China’s 40 years of reform and their experiences at the Reform and Development Forum in Shanghai yesterday.

The industries also exchanged thoughts on the role that reform, innovation and sustainability are playing in their development in China.

More than 40 companies were given the “40 Years On: Multinational Companies in Shanghai Excellence Award.”

Also, 14 multinational companies achieved the Excellence Award for Innovation 2018, while 17 won the Excellence Award for Sustainability 2018.

The volume of foreign direct investment in China surged to a record high in 2017, ranking second in the world, with the total value reaching US$131 billion.

Liu Jinping, chairman of the Shanghai Association of Foreign Investment, said foreign companies have contributed a lot to Shanghai’s reform over the past four decades, and he expected more in the future when the city initiated a new round of development.

“We look forward to better innovation and more sustainability from foreign companies when Shanghai further opens its market,” Liu said.

Allan Gabor, president of Merck China, added: “The 40 years of opening up in China is truly remarkable — I’ve actually seen 19 years of it living in China. It’s unprecedented in scale and speed.

“There’s no question that the availability of medicines is tremendously better than it was 10 or 15 years ago.

“As for the electronics industry, clearly China is not only a big consumer but is shaping the trends globally. And for life science, the kind of research that has been done in China is starting to really pay dividends in terms of innovation.”

Angelina Prokofyeva, head of sustainability China at Covestro Polymer, which was one of the winners of the Excellence Award for Sustainability, added that “innovation and sustainability go hand in hand.”

“We look at the innovation that’s inspired by sustainability,” Prokofyeva said. “And I think that’s the key if we really want to tackle the global challenges we’re faced.”

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