Interview: China's reform and opening-up policy benefits foreign firms: Hyundai Motor executive

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-07 16:53:54|Editor: xuxin
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SEOUL, March 7 (Xinhua) -- China's reform and opening-up policy has benefited foreign companies, improved living standards and boosted the country's economy, an executive of South Korea's biggest automaker said.

"China's reform and opening-up is a great achievement in the development of China ... In the process of reform and opening-up for the past 40 years, China's national power has grown stronger, and people's living quality improved greatly," Lee Hyuk Joon, president of Hyundai Motor Group (China) Ltd., said in a written interview with Xinhua Wednesday.

 The reform and opening-up, Lee noted, commanded the world's attention as reforms sped up in recent years while opening-up developed China's economy into a fairer, more effective one today.

In addition to benefiting the Chinese people, the policy has been advantageous to foreign companies, including Hyundai Motor that entered the Chinese market by setting up a representative office in 1992 when China and South Korea established diplomatic relations, and created a joint venture in 2002 when China entered the World Trade Organization (WTO), the executive said.

"It is no exaggeration to say China cannot exist as a prosperous one today without reform and opening-up ... China is the world's biggest consumer market, and a country having the highest number of wise, diligent managers, engineers and workers in the world," said Lee.

Touching on what he described as "countless attractions" China has as a destination for investment by foreign firms, Lee said the Chinese government combined efficiency, competitiveness and a business mentality to adjust its policies flexibly and continued to enhance the business environment according to developments in its economy.

  "It is no doubt that Hyundai Motor successfully developed in China," Lee said, noting the success of a countless number of foreign companies due to the reform and opening-up policy.

 Helped by "decisive" contributions from the Chinese government and its Chinese partners, Hyundai has worked to meet the needs of Chinese consumers over the decades and topped 10 million in cumulative automobile sales in the Chinese market earlier this year, said the executive.

Hyundai plans to provide eco-friendly models, including hybrid, electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in the Chinese market, hoping to roll out its NEXO, a new generation of its hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle as early as possible.

In 2013, Hyundai launched the ix35 Fuel Cell in 2013, becoming the first automaker commercializing hydrogen in a production model. It unveiled the NEXO SUV, a second generation of its hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle that realized hydrogen energy technology through its flagship SUV body type, in 2018.

The executive said Hyundai is confident in China's future growth and ongoing reform and opening-up.

  As its economic power grew, China developed a capability to protect itself from risks, caused by an expanded opening-up, Lee said. He recommended that China continue to alter the policy as it sees fit to meet new challenges.

Even though China's growth has slowed in recent years after decades of rapid expansion, the country remains an economic force, Lee noted.

"Despite a moderate slowdown of its growth rate, China's economic fundamentals have not changed. And, China's status as a driving force of the world economy is growing higher," said Lee.

 "The Chinese market is the global market."