Interview: China's reform, opening-up contributes to people, foreign firms, world: S.Korean entrepreneur

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-08 12:04:06|Editor: Yang Yi
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SEOUL, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- China's reform and opening-up policy has created prosperity of the people while helping foreign companies find business opportunities in the country and contributing to the global growth, a South Korean entrepreneur said.

"Prosperity of the Chinese people is the biggest change among others from China's reform and opening-up policy that has continued for the past four decades," Park Keun-tae, president and chief executive of CJ Group China & CJ Logistics, a logistics arm of South Korea's food and logistics conglomerate CJ Group, said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

Park said the current cityscape of Beijing, such as a forest of buildings, neatly-built roads and well-dressed passers-by, was never imagined before the adoption of the reform and opening-up policy.

"The results came from reform and opening-up, which inspired vigor into the entire society and boosted productivity of the whole people," said Park.

"Reform and opening-up encouraged every member of the Chinese society to work harder for success, leading the entire China to go on a path toward development. Efforts of reform and opening-up for the past 40 years made China what it is now," said Park who is often called "China pundit."

Park and CJ Group started their ties with China since the reform and opening-up policy was introduced. The South Korean conglomerate set up an office in Hong Kong in 1978 for the purpose of "learning China's market," and Park began his Chinese career in Hong Kong in 1984 when he was 30 years old.

Two years after China and South Korea established diplomatic ties in 1992, CJ Group entered into business in China and currently has 141 subsidiaries in 66 cities across the country, operating 31 factories and hiring around 23,000 employees. CJ Group spans businesses from food and logistics to biotechnology, entertainment and home shopping.

"Because of the reform and opening-up policy, CJ Group was able to enter China and make a current success," said Park, who is in charge of the CJ Group China headquarters. Park learned the Chinese language in his initial career to build friendship with his Chinese partners before doing business.

"China's reform and opening-up contributed much to the global development," Park said, as the Chinese government created a huge demand via an expansionary fiscal policy during the global financial crisis and thereafter, has served as a driving force of the global economic growth with its largest consumer market in the world.

China, Park said, has recently become the world's "lab of innovation" as the country is leading the development of innovative industries, such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and Internet of Things (IoT).

In accordance with China's sustained development and growth, CJ Group has been preparing to expand its business in China for the past 10 years. CJ Logistics has recently increased research and development (R&D) in drone delivery, autonomous package sorting and robot use within warehouses.

Echoing South Korea's New Northern Policy, the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, CJ Logistics is promoting its Northern Logistics Plan, for which the South Korean company has newly opened a massive logistics center in the Chinese northeastern city of Shenyang.

If the railways are connected along the eastern and western corridors of the peninsula, it will create a "new logistics silk road" by linking it to the Trans-China Railway, the Trans-Mongolian Railway and the Trans-Siberian Railway, said Park.

It would enable CJ Logistics to provide door-to-door delivery services between Asia and Europe, reducing costs and raising effectiveness in logistics, Park predicted.