Tim Cook is in China this week and has been pictured visiting with developers, sightseeing, and meeting with politicians. Now, the Apple CEO has given a brief speech at the China Development Forum, using the opportunity to call on China to continue opening up its economy to the rest of the world.
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Speaking at the event, Cook said that it’s “essential” for China to continue to open ups not just for its own sake but also for the sake of the global economy (via Bloomberg):
“We urge China to continue to open up,” Cook said during a speech at the annual China Development Forum in Beijing on Saturday. “We see that as essential. Not only for China to reach its full potential, but for the global economy to thrive.”
Also during the speech, Cook referenced a quote said by Chinese President Xi Jinping years ago during an event in Seattle: “The fire burns higher if more people bring wood to it.”
Cook also noted during the speech that climate change remains a key issue for the world as a whole, as are things like health care, inequality, and more (via CNBC):
“Climate change is threatening our planet, poverty and inequality hold citizens and nations back from their potential, basic health care remains out of reach for millions,” he said.
“At the same time … we can have a healthy planet and a thriving economy. We can continue to lift millions of people out of poverty, and we can give everyone a chance to learn and thrive. To fulfill this potential, we must all work hand in hand, government, academic institutions and businesses like Apple,” Cook said.
Ultimately, Cook reiterated that he’s “extremely bullish” on the state of the global economy. He said that he’s “never seen innovation at a more feverish pace” than he does today, making him very optimistic for the future:
“In the long term, I’m extremely bullish. I think the key to the economy, unlocking its potential has always been innovation, and when I travel around the world, I’ve never seen innovation at a more feverish pace than I do today, so I’m extremely optimistic,” Cook told participants at the China Development Forum, a gathering of business leaders in Beijing.
Apple has faced its own struggles in China recently. During the first quarter of 2019, the company had to lower its earnings guidance due in large part to lower-than-expected demand in China. The iPhone has faced increased competition form more affordable smartphone makers like Huawei and Oppo.