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Business trends

Asian execs boost local output in tariff war: Nikkei summit

Motherson chairman says company keeps each country's contribution below 15%

China's Belt and Road Initiative was among the topics discussed at the Nikkei Asia300 Global Business Forum's Chongqing Summit on May 16.

CHONGQING -- Asian business leaders emphasized local production for local consumption as a key growth driver amid the Sino-American trade war at the Nikkei Asia300 Global Business Forum's Chongqing Summit on Thursday.

With the world's largest market of China as a base, state-owned Chongqing Changan Automobile will accelerate its internationalization to make the country a major automotive power, Executive Vice President Tan Benhong said.

The automaker plans to ramp up expansion in countries participating in China's massive Belt and Road infrastructure initiative. It will leverage production facilities in such nations as Russia, Pakistan and Vietnam as well as expand a research and development base in Italy -- the first Group of Seven member to sign on to Belt and Road.

Vivek Chaand Sehgal, chairman of the Samvardhana Motherson group and its flagship Motherson Sumi Systems, touted the Indian auto parts maker's diversification-focused business model under which it has established a worldwide network of production hubs, in some cases through acquisitions. The company's internal guidelines state that no specific country or part should contribute more than 15% of total earnings, he said.

Director Jerry Hsu of Taiwan's Kinpo Electronics, whose group includes Compal Electronics, said that while his company will continue to focus on China as its main manufacturing base, it will also use facilities in Vietnam and elsewhere to establish a flexible, efficient global production structure.

The event took place alongside the start of the Western China International Fair for Investment and Trade held by sponsors including China's Ministry of Commerce and the Chongqing municipal government. The event aims to promote partnerships among Chinese and foreign companies, built on the Belt and Road strategy.

"We will promote development of Belt and Road and lead the opening of inland China's economy," said Chen Min'er, Communist Party chief of Chongqing.

Deals worth a total of 337.5 billion yuan ($49.1 billion) have been signed in conjunction with the investment expo, including an agreement by Germany's Robert Bosch to build a data center in Chongqing, according to the city government.

The Asia300 is Nikkei's exclusive list of the biggest and fastest-growing companies from 11 economies across the continent. The picks are based on market capitalization, with consideration also given to growth potential and geographic balance.

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