Siemens sets its sights on rapid growth

By WAN ZHIHONG (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-08-18 18:39
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BEIJING - Cheng Mei-Wei, the new president and CEO of Siemens in China, has no doubts about the German company's targets in the country.

Siemens China will continue its fast growth momentum in the coming years, he said. The company's turnover in the country rose to a record high of 5.2 billion euros ($6.68 billion) in fiscal 2009.

"China has so much to offer to Siemens," said Cheng. "To us, the country is not only a factory of the world. It also has an excellent pool of engineering and scientific talents."

Commenting on the country's business environment Cheng said: "China remains a strategic market for all multinational companies."

Executives from some of the biggest companies in Europe and the United States have commented on Chinese policies toward foreign business in recent months.

According to a report in the Financial Times in July, Peter Loescher, chairman of the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business, said foreign companies operating in China expect to find equal conditions in terms of public tenders.

Loescher, who is also chief executive of Siemens, called on Beijing to rapidly remove trade and investment restrictions in sectors such as automobiles and financial services.

However, in an e-mailed response to China Daily, Loescher said: "We have witnessed the great efforts China has been making over the past three decades to construct a transparent and legal business environment, driven by its intention to integrate as a full number of the international community.

"We understand that is takes time for the country to accomplish what it took the industrialized countries more than 100 years to achieve," he added.

Loescher said businesses should not be simply distinguished by their country of origin in a time of globalization.

"This was evident during Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to our production facility in Tianjin this May when he emphasized that enterprises that legally register in China, employ Chinese staff, invest and do R&D in China are considered as Chinese enterprises."

Cheng, who took up the position of Siemens China president and CEO on July 1, said the company will further enhance its localization for further success.

Cheng said his experiences in China would help executives from Siemens headquarters in Germany get a better understanding of the market.

"I will try to be 'Mr Siemens' to our stakeholders in China, and also 'Mr China' to the Siemens management in Germany."

As part of the company's localization measures, Siemens will hire more Chinese engineers, he added.

Cheng, who has worked in China for over 30 years, said multinationals should focus more on long-term development in the market and get accustomed to the rapidly changing market.

It is natural to see some ups and downs in China's business climate, as the company has experienced in other countries, he added.

The growth of Siemens in China has been in line with the country's increased opening-up and reform. It is no doubt that the recent five years have been one of the fastest development periods for Siemens, he said.

China Daily