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Invest in China: Global Market Pulp Giant Set for Thriving Growth With Chinese Economy

By Xinhua|Mar 28,2024

This aerial photo taken on Sept. 10, 2023 shows a view of Zhangjiang area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone in east China's Shanghai. (Photo/Fang Zhe, Xinhua)

Beijing - Brazil-headquartered global leading market pulp firm Suzano said it plans to deepen its roots and expand presence in China as the world's second-largest economy's shift to high-quality growth provides fertile soil for business growth.

"The Chinese economy is like a eucalyptus, which grows fast and provides sustainable solutions for the world and the future," Suzano's global CEO Walter Schalka told Xinhua in an interview.

Celebrating its centennial anniversary this year, Suzano has been in the Chinese market since the 1980s, witnessing the country's steady rise to its largest export market.

The Chinese market accounts for roughly 40 percent of the total global exports of Suzano, whose market pulp from eucalyptus provide printing and writing paper, paperboard packaging, textiles, among others, to consumers in over 100 countries.

"China is by far the most relevant market for us," said Schalka, adding that there is still much growth space in the huge market in terms of per capita tissue consumption when compared with some developed countries.

Schalka said that the company has seen robust orders from Chinese customers in the beginning of this year and believes the momentum is going to continue throughout 2024.

The company this year started to pilot settlement in Chinese yuan during its trade with the Chinese market.

Commenting on the changes of the country's business environment over the years, Schalka said the Chinese government has shown increasing openness to foreign companies seeking to operate in China. "We are seeing improvement on this direction and this is very positive for us."

João Alberto Abreu, who will become Suzano's global CEO in July, visited China for the first time last week, calling China "a country with a very strong dynamic everywhere."

"What I feel is that you cannot be out of sight of China if you want to do business globally," Abreu said.

To leverage innovation to enhance sustainable development, Suzano last year set up the Asia Innovability Hub in Shanghai to address customers' evolving needs for pulp and new bio-based materials and applications.

"The hub aims to bring innovation from within and develop together with our business partners. It also aims at learning from China," said Pablo Machado, business management president of Suzano Asia. "At Suzano, we believe today that China is one of the most innovative economies in the world."

Machado said Suzano would continue to participate in the China International Import Expo this year, the fourth time of taking part in "the most important international trade fair in China."

"We will expand our presence, like a tree, at the CIIE this year," Machado said.

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