Remarks as prepared for delivery
Thank you for that introduction.
And thank you for inviting me back to this very important Forum.
I always welcome an opportunity to visit China.
I spent the majority of my career in Asia—each trip to the region feels like a "coming home."
There is a vibrancy here – a sense of opportunity and of urgency that is like no other place on earth.
As a former Chair of the U.S.-China Business Council, and in my role as Dow's CEO, I was honored this past January to participate in President Hu's state visit to Washington D.C. and to discuss some of the very issues we are addressing right here; international cooperation between governments to spur economic
development for all stakeholders.
Our nations have worked closely together in this new era of globalization.
At Dow, we know the value of that kind of partnership.
We've worked with the Chinese government on a number of projects that have proven to our mutual benefit.
I believe our success—our ability to sustain a global economic recovery and create long-term growth and prosperity—will depend on our continued commitment to that cooperation…not just through dialogue, but through concrete action.
There are three key areas where we should be taking those important steps together: in innovation policy, in trade policy, and in the areas of clean energy and sustainability.
With regard to innovation policy, I want to first say how much I admire China's efforts to cultivate a high-tech, advanced manufacturing sector.
As the head of one of the world's largest multi-national companies, I know that high value add manufacturing not only fuels creativity and innovation, but creates growth and wealth and prosperity over the long term.
This past January, President Hu made a number of very substantive comments that outline changes to China's innovation policy.
Those proposed changes reflect concerns that had been raised by many, including a number of companies represented in this room.
The President confirmed that indigenous innovation would not be used to discriminate against foreign invested industries, nor would the location of IP filings constitute a barrier to investment.
Ensuring that the innovation process is open, transparent, and inclusive in China, whether for foreign or domestic manufacturers, is critically important.
It allows companies to make investments of mutual benefit, and to innovate in an environment with the best and latest technologies.
As an example, Dow has licensed state of the art PASCAL technology to Haier, our good friends and partners.
This technology will help to improve the efficiency of their home appliance products, not just for use in China, but around the world.
That will enable Haier to become a global leader while driving job creation right here in China.
We all benefit when there is open access to great technologies and look forward to seeing President Hu's vision in practice at the provincial level.
The second area where we need more international cooperation is in the negotiation of global trade and investment agreements.
Businesses like Dow have already built cross-border alliances; in fact, our growth and success depends on them.
What we need now is for all governments to implement the same kinds of high-standard trade agreements.
This is an article of faith for Dow.
Trade and investment have long been the most effective engines for raising standards of living and driving economic growth.
A good example are the major petroleum-based ethylene cracker projects in China, which are built on a 50/50 basis.
Allowing equal shares between domestic and foreign investors promotes the type of strong and equal partnerships that have helped to build the strong Chinese petrochemical sector that exists in China today.
Continuing this practice – and matching it with a more open equal investment climate for Chinese investors in America - will be extremely helpful as China restructures its petrochemical industry structure and adjusts the balance between investments in the coastal region and inland region.
We all know that the long-stalled Doha negotiations at the WTO are still without a path forward.
China and the U.S. must provide joint leadership to find a breakthrough in those talks.
Both nations must continue to lower and remove tariffs and to finally bring the multilateral system into the modern economic age.
As a company and industry leader, Dow has long advocated for a chemical sectoral tariff elimination agreement – reducing the cost for input products for so many of the downstream manufacturers represented here today.
That would be a global economic stimulus package that would pay real economic development benefits for all countries – both developed and developing alike.
Even on a regional level, we see great opportunity to turn the overlapping bilateral and regional trade agreements into a more comprehensive package.
It is one of the reasons why Dow supports the Transpacific Partnership negotiations—a small group of members within the APEC grouping that are working to develop a more comprehensive, 21st century agreement.
As a member of the President's Export Council, we take these opportunities very seriously.
The committee that I chair for the Export Council focuses on global competitiveness and we strongly support the TPP.
And less than two weeks ago we sought and received the Council's approval for a letter to President Obama that lay out the business- driven elements for a 21st century trade roadmap.
As companies, we know how trade works better than anyone, and we take seriously our responsibility to engage our governments to promote gold standard agreements.
That is how we can support development of an agreement that all the countries of APEC could join – tangibly creating the long-held dream of an Asia/Pacific wide FTA.
As trading partners focused on keeping an open, welcoming market for products, services and technologies, the more concrete our partnerships –– the more we will all benefit and grow.
Clean Energy & Sustainability
At the heart of that growth is the third area where we at Dow believe there is ample room for enhanced cooperation: clean energy and sustainability.
We all have a tremendous stake in reducing energy consumption and a in promoting energy efficiencies and clean energy technologies.
There is so much we have to offer one another – and so much to gain from working together.
We must use every opportunity to promote collaboration and deeper partnerships to stimulate investment and growth.
Governments around the world are the key enablers for this: they must send signals to markets, to make clear their commitment to these industries, so that companies have a framework for investment and innovation.
Clean energy is not just the environmentally right thing to do, it is also the economic answer.
It is true that more energy-efficient manufacturing reduces emissions.
But it also makes economic sense, saving the manufacturer money.
Being more efficient means a reduced energy bill – and we would all welcome that.
We have embodied these best practices into our founding membership role of the China-US Energy Co-operation program (ECP).
This joint project between both our governments allows companies, like Dow, to demonstrate real world progress – especially in areas like energy efficiency.
We can learn from one another what actually works to make a difference to our environment and bottom lines in both US and China - independent of what governments negotiate.
Dow is a firm believer in using our leadership in fundamental science – coupled with China's leadership in renewable resources – to drive a new level of growth and innovation for all of us.
For example, our partnership with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories in the new U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center is a great example of how – with the right protections – we can mutually cultivate our knowledge to escalate growth.
Dow's Commitment to China
Let me close by stating – again – how committed Dow is to China.
We are not simply investing in production facilities here.
We have 500 Chinese scientists working in China on strategic research and development; a talented team of women and men are already generating more patents than at any of Dow's other locations.
And we are working – through the U.S.-China Business Council and as a member of the business host committee for APEC 2011 in Hawaii – to support China's efforts to advance its innovation and technology as it improves the lives for the people of China as well as people around the world.
We are ready to do more.
We are ready to apply what we know to the challenges we all face.
And we are ready to continue using our expertise in science and technology to address the most important challenges facing mankind today.
Most of all, we are ready to work with you – together – to promote a more cooperative agenda for the critical years ahead.