Global medical giant sees 'exponential' growth opportunities along the BRI
By Huo Li
Established in 1981, International SOS provides medical and travel security services, which includes pre-travel advice, assistance abroad, and providing information for pandemic planning.
Joël Gosset, managing director of the company, told CGTN that his company is very much involved in the coronavirus outbreak situation. He praised China for its efforts in containing the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the country "can be proud of its responsibility and maturity in the management of this crisis."
Gosset said the new Foreign Investment Law, which went into effect earlier this year, is keeping pace of changes in foreign investment, as well as revealing the country's firm determination to expand its opening to the world. International SOS entered China in 1989, following the foreign direct investment of multinationals. Now, it is eyeing bigger opportunities from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as Chinese companies go global.
The following are excerpts from the interview.
CGTN: Since the launch of foreign investment law, have you felt any changes in China's business environment?
Gosset: The new Foreign Investment Law is of great significance. It reveals the new era of China's firm determination to expand its opening to the world. To comply with the tendency of change and foreign investment, it provides rule of law and a guarantee of keeping pace with the times. It's not only for investment to just come in, but also to stay long in China. The Chinese economy has developed to a certain level where it has the confidence to participate in international competition.
We believe that China will continue to optimize the environment for foreign investment in different fields, of course, benefiting the service industry such as our company International SOS.
CGTN: How has the outbreak of COVID-19 influenced your operation so far?
Gosset: International SOS is the world leader in medical and travel security services. We work with more than 80 percent of the global 500 companies, so we are very much at the heart of this crisis situation. Our 24/7 assistance centers keep operating. They have received more than thousands and thousands of requests for information and assistance during this COVID-19 outbreak.
China and the Chinese people have made tremendous efforts in the prevention and control of the outbreak. I'm very confident of the future of the Chinese economy. China can be proud of its responsibility and maturity in the management of this crisis, and more companies have realized the importance of preparedness, planning and prevention, and they will come out of this crisis more robust than ever.
As far as we're concerned, we've been 30 years in China. We have grown from supporting inbound investment towards now supporting the outbound agenda along the Belt and Road Initiative. We continue to be agile, to support our clients, to help them implementing their business continuity plan and enforcing their duty of care.