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‘We’ve taken a long term view.’ Top banker bullish on China

JPMorgan Asia Pacific CEO Sjoerd Leenart says China is ‘an incredibly important place’ that ‘influences every industry around the world’
  • Leenart says that China ‘will take its pause’ like any other market but that the long-term prognosis is good

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PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

A senior international banker has voiced upbeat sentiments on China, saying that the world’s second most populous nation “influences every industry around the world.”

Speaking at the 20th annual Global China Summit in Shanghai, JPMorgan Asia Pacific CEO Sjoerd Leenart told CNBC that China was “an incredibly important place.”

He said “You can’t ignore it, you have to do business there, even if you decide not to do business there, you need to understand what’s going on.” 

Leenart’s remarks stand in contrast to the pessimism of many Western pundits, who accuse China of not doing enough to boost its sluggish economy. 

[See more: China is taking ‘historic’ measures to shore up its property sector]

However, Leenart told CNBC that some investors were now “encouraged by early signs” of recovery, including a bounceback in exports and greater than expected GDP growth in the first quarter.

He acknowledged that foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country had fallen, but said it had to be seen in the context of 50 years of FDI growth. “Every market will take its pause,” Leenart noted.

“I think that [China] has a lot to sell to the world, and that product will be needed all over the world,” he said.

The banker added: “We’ve been here for 103 years. So we’ve taken a long term view on China, and we’ll be here for 100 more years to come.

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