I’ve been visiting China on business almost every year since 2007. Last year, joining the management of IKEA Purchasing and Logistics Area East Asia, I moved from Sweden to China’s Shanghai for work and living, since which I started understanding this country in a more intensive and comprehensive manner.
I’m always impressed by the diligence, credibility and hard work of the Chinese people when I work with my Chinese colleagues and business partners. These qualities aroused enormous energies in China’s combat against the COVID-19 pandemic this year. Every individual is united, obeying strict test and quarantine rules, not only for personal safety, but also for the sake of the others. Besides, rigorous disease control measures were established everywhere in the country and meticulously followed by enterprises. Under these efforts, China’s economy and society have recovered. Now I can travel freely between the offices in Qingdao in east China, Shenzhen in south China and other places and inspect our suppliers.
Today, China’s economy has turned stable, and the growth of the first three quarters became positive with constantly expanding export. The country is playing a more and more important role in the global industrial and supply chains.
Let’s take protective equipment, which is in high demand today, as an example. In just a few months, China has largely expanded its production capacity of such products, which not only ensured sufficient supply for its own citizens, but also satisfied the demand of other countries. To achieve this, enterprises must acquire enough raw materials and parts, as well as establish efficient production lines. It demonstrated China’s complete industrial line and high automation. It’s fortunate for me to live and work in a metropolis like Shanghai. The city, home to over 24 million people, offers a sense of security with its orderliness and convenience.
Last year, Shanghai decided to implement mandatory garbage sorting, and soon a complete system was established by local residents. It showed me the overwhelming execution of the Chinese people. For plain citizens, it is not easy to fully understand how garbage shall be sorted. Therefore, the government launched garbage sorting campaigns through all possible channels, and garbage sorting also became a hot online topic. Environmental issues are a huge challenge faced by all mankind, but I believe that China, with such execution power, is able to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.
Inland areas of China are also developing fast. One of the driving forces is people’s aspiration for a better life, in particular, better medical services, education, entertainment and environment. To seek more business opportunities for enterprises is a part of my job, and I have found nonnegligible opportunities in China’s inland region. In the future, we will join the efforts of the Chinese people to build a better life in a more extensive manner.
(The article is compiled by People’s Daily reporter Shang Kaiyuan based on an interview with Korcan Ulgen, Vice President of IKEA Purchasing and Logistics Area East Asia.)
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