Interview: Nikon president: China becomes market with potential 2009-08-31 15:47:04   Print

    TOKYO, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- After 60-year development since 1949, China has become a market with huge potential and a leader of world economy, said Michio Kariya, president of the Japanese camera and precision equipment maker Nikon Corp.

    "China is no longer merely a production base, but also an important consumer market. When the world economy was plagued by the financial crisis, China is one of the a few spots maintaining growth under the government's macro-control policies," Kariya said in an interview with Xinhua.

    Kariya remembered his first trip to China in 1998 on an assignment to take charge of Nikon's camera business in the country, saying "when I saw there were so many people at Shanghai Railway Station, I was thinking what will happen if every one bought a Nikon camera."

    As the economy grows, Nikon's business in China made rapid headways. "A simple example is that in one of our subsidiary company in east China's Jiangsu Province, the number of employees increased to 3,700 from 218 in the year 2003, and most of the workers are natives who possess high professional skills," he said.

    Kariya said the current Chinese market is no different from the U.S. and European markets. Since China has a huge population, the potential is massive.

    "The Chinese government has been promoting household appliances and electronic products in rural areas. If the vast rural market is developed, we will witness more growth. In this sense, China is very important to Nikon."

    The president acknowledged many high-end products now enjoy high market recognition and robust sales, thanks to the increase of Chinese people's disposable income. "Our digital single lens reflex is selling very well as there are more and more people interested in photography," he said.

    According to Kariya, Nikon's global sales have been shrinking during the economic recession, but China is still maintaining an impressive growth, in particular the market for digital single lens reflex, which is growing by 30 to 40 percent monthly.

    "When the world is yet to recover and Japanese is suffering the worst post-war slowdown, I hope China can be a powerful engine to pull the world back on the track of growth. I have confidence in China," Kariya said.

Special Report: 60th Anniversary of Founding of PRC 

Editor: Xiong Tong
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