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CEO: Volkswagen's ties to China grow stronger

By Zhuan Ti  (China Daily)

16:20, June 17, 2013

Shanghai Volkswagen's new plant in Changsha is expected to produce 300,000 cars annually. [Photo/Provided to China Daily]

Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen AG, Europe's largest carmaker, met with Premier Li Keqiang on June 5 at the first meeting of the Global CEO Advisory Council. As one of the key players in China's auto industry, Volkswagen has always maintained a cooperative approach to working with its local teams. At the meeting, Winterkorn sat down with China Daily to share his views on the Group's history and future strategy in the world's largest auto market.

What brings you to Beijing, and how do you view the China market?

First, I would like to say it was a pleasure to be a member of the newly founded Global CEO Advisory Council and meet with Premier Li Keqiang here in Beijing.

One topic we discussed was China's strategy to develop its central and western areas.

Volkswagen Group supports this strategy with our new plant in Changsha, Hunan province, and our "Go West" strategy. And with our new plant in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, we are taking on another pioneering role in China.

We understand that urbanization is a key driver for China's future growth, which will benefit Chinese society and provide opportunities for new business.

What role do businesses such as Volkswagen play in the relationship between China and Germany?

Volkswagen Group's role in putting China on wheels and cultivating China's auto industry is an exceptional honor for our company.

This achievement was made possible only through close partnership with international and Chinese companies, as well as local governments.

Today, we can still see the benefits of this partnership, especially in the country's western region.

When I spoke with Premier Li, I told him that I appreciate the efforts the government has made to push forward the reform and opening-up and the sustainable development of society.

This policy has always been a driving force of China's overall growth, benefitting both the domestic market and the global economy.

Volkswagen will continue to work with the government, the Chinese people and our joint venture partners in all regions.

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