Guo Guangchang: deeper globalization boosts economic recovery
Updated 18:01, 21-May-2020
By Wu Lei

Multinational companies play a key role in helping fight the coronavirus globally and assist the recovery of the world economy. Guo Guangchang, chairman of Fosun International, one of China's largest investment enterprises, spoke to CGTN about economic challenges and future opportunities of COVID-19.

CGTN: The global supply chain and industrial chain have been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. What impact has Fosun International had over the past few months? How did you deal with the crisis?

Guo: In terms of the supply chain and industrial chain, some of our fashion industries felt the pressure. In the beginning, our overseas clients worried that the Chinese supply chain couldn't keep up. I told them that it will take about two or three months for China to resume its supply. And in fact, China's supply chain has quickly caught up, but now the disruption of the global supply chain has affected China's overall production. Some of our businesses are turning to domestic suppliers rather than overseas ones. The impact on the industrial chain is even worse, tourism and offline businesses were severely affected. And to bridge the gap of the supply chains and industrial chains, we need deeper globalization. The problems encountered by the market economy can only be solved in a market-oriented way. On the whole, domestic production is now recovering very quickly. We hope that everyone will work together and the global epidemic will be fully contained as soon as possible.

Fosun International Building, in Shanghai, October 5, 2019. /VCG

Fosun International Building, in Shanghai, October 5, 2019. /VCG

CGTN: The world is still battling the COVID-19 pandemic. All the governments, enterprises and social communities have taken action. Can you please quantify Fosun International's role in helping to fight the virus globally?

Guo: At the beginning of the epidemic, we purchased a lot of medical equipment from around the world to support China's epidemic control. We got enormous support from our employees, our overseas partners, and local governments. Now, as the world is still suffering from the pandemic, Fosun is also using all of its global resources to support the planet by implementing what General Secretary Xi said, that we are a community of destiny, and no one can be alone. On the other hand, Fosun has donated medical equipment to 27 countries, many of which we sent directly to frontline nurses and doctors. We also linked China's production capacity with global demand.

CGTN: China has a larger number of small and micro enterprises, which are especially vulnerable during epidemics. What are your suggestions to help them better survive the difficult times?

Guo: Firstly, I think it is very important to resume consumption and get daily life back to normal. This is key for the recovery of small and medium-sized enterprises. Secondly, they need more policy support in terms of taxation, employment, and rent. Thirdly, it is necessary to expand their online operations and services. If they can put more emphasis on making sure their products and services are healthy enough, they can recover their business as soon as possible.

CGTN: Many say a huge crisis also comes with new opportunities. What new industry trends have you seen in the post-epidemic era?

Guo: The demand for a healthy lifestyle will grow larger. I believe health is more than just medical treatment, health management, and health insurance. In fact, every industry can be involved. For example how to make our homes healthier and how to make our diets healthier. So in this regard, I think there will be a lot of business opportunities. The second trend is embracing digital solutions, trying to make your services available online. In the future, there will be more intelligent manufacturing in the industry chain, using more technologies including big data and artificial intelligence. I think there will be more applications of these new innovations.

CGTN: There are still many uncertainties as the pandemic continues to spread. How can Chinese companies better mobilize their global resources to help the global economy recover?

Guo: After it gradually recovers, China can produce enough quantities of medical materials. We should continue to help the world fight the virus. This is what we should do. The responsibility of a big country in fact is also reflected in whether these big companies across the country can shoulder their responsibilities. So we should use global supply chains to solve global problems instead of anti-globalization. All the temporary problems caused by globalization should be fixed by market solutions.