GENEVA, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Nestle, one of the world's largest food and beverage companies, will continue to actively invest in the Chinese market despite challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, and hopes that the China International Import Expo (CIIE) starting next week could "drive a new tide of consumption".
"CIIE signals that China is further opening up its domestic market... It shows China's determination to drive a new tide of consumption," Bernie Stefan, Nestle's vice president for the Regional Management Zone Asia, Oceania, and Africa, told Xinhua in an interview.
The CIIE is a trade fair held annually since 2018 and will take place for the third time in Shanghai in early November. It serves as a platform for foreign companies to expand their business into China and aims to support trade liberalization and economic globalization.
China is Nestle's second-largest market in the world, where it operates 28 factories, four innovation centers, three R&D centers and employs more than 36,000 staff, according to the company.
"Despite the significant challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese economy has shown a high degree of resilience and has been leading the global economic recovery," Stefan said.
"Nestle has remained resilient in a difficult and volatile environment globally, and we look forward to continuing doing our part and contributing to that recovery. These may be challenging times, but we've been actively investing in the Chinese market without any hesitation."
Stefan said that Nestle's priorities in the COVID-19 crisis were to keep its staff healthy and safe, maintaining business continuity, and striving to resume operations to guarantee the supply and quality of food and beverages as daily necessities.
Stefan also said he would like to see the further promotion of innovation in China as the key to sustainability, adding that "a holistic approach should always be taken by balancing economic, environmental and social considerations."
Nestle, joining the import expo for the third consecutive year, will bring more than 250 products from 21 countries to the event.
About 25 new products will make their debut on the Chinese market, Stefan said. Enditem