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Nation has ability and confidence to overcome challenges

China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-01 07:30

Editor's Note: The Communist Party of China concluded its 19th National Congress in Beijing on Oct 24. China Daily asked business leaders from major multinational companies for their views on economic developments here and the country's global leadership role.

Ritch Wood is chief executive officer of Nu Skin Enterprises, a United States-based anti-aging company committed to providing quality skincare products.

What three words would you use to describe China today?

Collaborative. Growth, Confident. China's participation in important international bodies, the Belt and Road Initiative, and President Xi Jinping's vocal defense of openness in the world economy, indicate a keen awareness for collaboration.

We hope that this attitude will result in greater opportunities for China to work with other countries and international companies-like our own-to build a better world.

Growth is another key area. China has achieved historic levels of growth in recent decades, powering its domestic economy and, in no small part, the world economy.

By 2030, it is expected to become the world's largest economy. It will also have greater influence, and even responsibility, for the health of the world economy.

Finally, China's leadership increasingly exudes confidence in its ability to meet stated long-term goals for the country, develop partnerships and play a leadership role on the world stage.

What is your impression of President Xi Jinping?

Although I have not personally met President Xi, I have found the confidence of his leadership and his vision for China's role in the world to be striking. He has a significant opportunity to make a positive impact on the country and the world.

What is China's biggest achievement during the past five years and the most notable change?

Even in the midst of a volatile global economic environment, China has grown to become the second largest economy in the world. Today, it continues to achieve relatively strong GDP growth.

What is more, China has made a notable contribution to the world economy, with its share of global GDP growth at more than 30 percent.

We believe that these economic achievements are due in a large part to the country's decision to encourage investment by both local and foreign enterprises.

This is demonstrated by our own experience.

During the relatively short period since Nu Skin first entered China in 2003, we have invested significant resources into this market.

It has now become our largest, accounting for nearly 30 percent of our 2016 revenue.

What factors will bolster China's growth this year and in 2018?

As I see it, there are two important factors that support China's economic growth. The first is the pursuit of clearly defined objectives.

From my experience and observations of economic development in countries around the world, a common thread is the ability of governments to set clear goals.

They must then foster an environment conducive to achieving them.

China's experience is a case in point. I have had the good fortune of traveling to the country many times during the past 15 years. Each time I return, I see visible signs of the economic progress resulting from China's ongoing pursuit of ambitious objectives.

I understand that President Xi and his colleagues have set goals to implement significant reforms and pursue comprehensive economic development.

The second supporting factor is openness to international investment. The opening of the country's markets in recent decades has infused both resources and energy into the economy. It has also helped invigorate the global economy.

As home to the world's largest population, China can continue to attract international investment, advanced technology and top-notch talent by promoting a policy of increasing openness.

This is something the government intends to do.

Of course, growth never comes without challenges, and I fully expect that China will encounter some.

As highlighted during the recent 19th CPC National Congress, I believe that achieving the balance between sustainable economic growth, and meeting the expectations of the Chinese people for a better life, will be one of the more important challenges.

Addressing these challenges will require innovative thinking and action. I understand that Chinese officials are committed to innovation and grasp its importance for driving economic vitality and capability.

Similarly, innovation has stood at the heart of Nu Skin's mission throughout our 33-year history. We hope to continue to make positive contributions to the country's culture of innovation.

What opportunities will the Belt and Road Initiative throw up for China and the rest of the world?

The Belt and Road Initiative should bring about increased international trade. It will have a positive impact on participating economies and the global economy as a whole.

It aims to reach 65 countries, regions and markets with the potential to affect 4.4 billion people. That is around one third of the world's GDP. Nu Skin looks forward to contributing to the Belt and Road Initiative and any other projects which seek to expand international commerce.

Can China's experiences or practices be used to solve global problems?

I would say yes. Since the opening of its economy in 1978, and especially since it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, China has contributed to, and benefited from, regional and global economic integration.

At a moment when economic openness is the subject of debate in many countries, China has emerged as a supporting voice.

By demonstrating its commitment to enhanced economic openness both domestically and internationally, China can make valuable contributions to this vital discussion.

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