BEIJING, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Reform and opening up has not only increased development within China, but has also provided benefits for the whole world, according to Nicolas Aguzin, J.P. Morgan Asia-Pacific chairman and CEO.
"China has become an important part of the global economy after 40 years of reform and opening up, while all countries and regions have benefited from the growth of the Chinese economy," Aguzin said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.
Over the past 40 years, China's economy, now the world's second largest, has grown from accounting for less than 2 percent of global GDP to around 15 percent, per capita GDP has expanded from less than 400 yuan (62.5 U.S. dollars) to 59,660 yuan, and the number of Chinese companies on the Fortune Global 500 list has increased from zero to 115.
Aguzin identified poverty alleviation as China's biggest achievement over the past 40 years, which he said was "an achievement that humanity has never accomplished before on that scale."
Through 40 years of reform and opening up, China has lifted 700 million people out of poverty, more than the combined population of the United States, Russia, Japan, and Germany, accounting for over 70 percent of poverty reduction globally. The country aims to lift all citizens out of poverty by 2020.
"When we look at the contribution China can make to the world today, it will be very significant. In terms of innovation and entrepreneurship, China is providing added value to the world," Aguzin said.
The Wall Street banking giant has been operating in China for nearly a century and the country remains its "long-term focus."
"[As the economy has been growing,] we have been growing. There are many ways that the company has benefited from the growth of China, and from Chinese clients expanding overseas," he said.
J.P. Morgan has become the latest foreign firm to apply to set up a majority ownership securities firm in China, taking advantage of new rules the country put in place last month as part of its move to further open up the economy.
The company will hold 51 percent of the new firm's stakes. It did not disclose who will hold the remaining 49-percent stake, but said it would raise its ownership to 100 percent as allowed by regulations over the next few years.
The banking giant also said Monday that its asset and wealth management unit was seeking to increase its current joint venture stake in China International Fund Management Co. to a majority interest, subject to agreement with its joint venture partner and relevant authorities.
"These developments are important for China, the U.S. and global commerce, and an encouraging sign for the world's two largest economies," said Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase.
"The direction has been very consistent towards opening up, towards liberalizing the market, towards expanding international presence in China, and towards expanding Chinese presence internationally," Aguzin said.
"There are even more good things to come, for China, for its companies, for its population and for J.P. Morgan," he said.
He warned about the dangers facing the economy, including geo-political risks, China-U.S. trade tensions, and domestic challenges in striking a balance between maintaining growth, ensuring financial stability and avoiding large social inequality.
Optimistic about the upcoming China-U.S. trade negotiations, Aguzin said he expected the talks to make progress.
"It will probably take a long time for the two sides to agree on everything. The important thing is that they talk, cover the issues thoroughly, and make sure when they agree on something, they have taken time to understand the facts around every issue. That is more important than the speed," he said.