An employee carries goods at the intelligent warehouse and logistics center of Heihe cross-border e-commerce industrial park in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Feb. 11, 2023. (Xinhua/Xie Jianfei)
An executive of Swiss logistics group Kuehne+Nagel expressed his confidence in Chinese economy's driving force, saying China will continue to play a very important role for his company.
GENEVA, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Swiss logistics company Kuehne+Nagel is "very confident" in the Chinese economy thanks to the country's optimization of COVID-19 prevention measures and its strong consumption power, its Asia Pacific president said, stressing the firm would continue to invest in the world's second-largest economy.
"China will continue to play a very important role for us," Wong Siew Loong, president of Kuehne+Nagel for the Asia Pacific region, told Xinhua in a virtual interview from Shanghai.
"I've always said this very openly: the world cannot live without China, and China cannot live without the rest of the world. It's a very intertwined relationship that will continue to be there."
Aerial photo taken on Sept. 13, 2022 shows ships berthed at the container wharf of Qinzhou Port in Qinzhou, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Zhang Ailin)
The Swiss group, headquartered in Schindellegi, Switzerland, is one of the world's leading logistics companies and among the biggest sea and air freight forwarders worldwide.
Positive about the Chinese economy's performance, Siew Loong said: "We are very confident with the collaboration with the rest of the world. We are confident that the economy will drive."
Referring to China's GDP target of around 5 percent for 2023, the president said: "The population itself, the ability to spend in China cannot be replicated anywhere else, at least not near-term."
"Five percent is a very crucial number. That's why we are very confident that we will continue to invest in China in the appropriate places at the appropriate time," he said.
The Switzerland-based holding company, founded in 1890, counts more than 80,000 employees at over 1,300 sites in more than 100 countries and regions, with a focus on integrated logistics solutions. It has benefited from sky-rocketing freight rates during the COVID-19 pandemic in spite of weaker global consumer demand, soaring inflation and high inventories negatively impacting the sector.
Stefan Pfister of Swiss railway company the Zentralbahn offers a piece of chocolate to a Chinese tourist on the Zentralbahn from Lucerne to Interlaken, Switzerland, Feb. 14, 2023. (Xinhua/Lian Yi)
Last week, Kuehne+Nagel reported an exceptionally strong growth in its 2022 financial year results, with its net turnover up by 20 percent to 39.4 billion Swiss francs (42.75 billion U.S. dollars), its annual operating profit rising by 28 percent to 3.8 billion Swiss francs (4.12 billion dollars), and net profit increasing 30 percent to 2.8 billion Swiss francs (3.04 billion dollars).
Expecting 2023 to be a challenging year, the president said "we are facing a demand issue with the world economy slowing down."
However, he didn't exclude the group's expansion plans in Asia and globally. "We just announced our 2026 roadmap. We have clearly highlighted that we are still very optimistic about the longer-term growth."
This aerial photo taken on Feb. 9, 2023 shows a China-Europe freight train at Dulaying Station in Guiyang, southwest China's Guizhou Province. (Xinhua/Liu Xu)
"We will continue to invest, and Asia will be a very big part of our focus. As part of our roadmap, we will be investing driven by organic growth and also some mergers and acquisitions going forward." ■