Spanish car parts maker Gestamp committed to China market: CEO

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Francisco Riberas, chief executive officer of Spanish car parts maker Gestamp, told Xinhua on Friday that the company remains fully committed to the Chinese market.

Gestamp, one of the leading firms in the European automotive industry, employs over 43,000 people in over 100 production plants worldwide. Of its 17 factories in Asia, 11 are based in China.

"We have developed fast in China and at the moment we have 11 factories there. We began developing our strategy in 2007 and 2008 and have made a big commitment there," explained Riberas.

He said that China's economic transformation over the past 10 to 15 years "has certainly been the most significant factor in the world economy," which meant "companies have had to develop an active strategy in China."

This week saw China and the U.S. sign their phase-one trade and economic agreement. Riberas welcomed the deal.

"China has had spectacular development. It also has huge potential for the future, not just in terms of competitiveness as a global factory, but also in the development of its internal market and its leadership role in the region," he said, adding that no company with ambition could afford to turn its back on China.

"Any company in any sector that wants to be a world leader has to continue developing a strategy in China," said Riberas.

He admitted that the past 18 months have seen a "short-term slowdown" in China, but expressed the belief that Gestamp's factories will "continue to do well."

"We have a long term commitment to China and we believe in China...In the long term China is going to continue growing and it is a very important market where we have clients and partners," he insisted.

"We don't foresee any special problems," he said, adding that Gestamp's factories in China guaranteed "security and quality," which was "more important than just price."

"The Chinese car industry has been growing for 20 years and even if things don't go well for a year or a year and a half, that's no reason for us to change our strategy," he concluded. 

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