World Economic Forum Congress Centre
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I just want to thank everybody. The receptivity that we’ve had and the United States has had being here has been incredible. Sitting around this table are some of the greatest business leaders in the world, some of the greatest companies in the world. Probably, I can think of no other place or time where you’ll have executives of this stature.
And I thought what I’d do is, first of all, I want to thank the professor for having done a fantastic job. Klaus, thank you very much. You have really done outstandingly. And putting this together at this level over many years has been a great tribute to you and your entire group and your entire family. So thank you very much. It’s an honor to be here representing the United States.
MR. SCHWAB: Thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: I just want to say that there’s been a lot of warmth, a lot of respect for our country. And a lot of money — billions and billions of dollars — is coming into the U.S. And people are very happy with what we’ve done, not only on the tax bill, but also cutting of regulations, and I think also being a cheerleader for our country. You know, if you’re not a cheerleader for your company or for your country, no matter what happens, it’s not going to work. And that’s what I’ve been and that’s what my whole group has been.
So perhaps I’ll start on my left and you can go around. And here’s one of the very big, powerful businesspeople of the world. And just say a few words about your company and whatever you’d like to do. Go ahead.
MR. KAESER: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for inviting me today. Obviously, I work for Siemens. We’ve got 56,000 people working in the United States; $34 billion revenues. (Inaudible.) So, congratulations on your tax reform. You said this is what you’re going to do. (Inaudible.)
THE PRESIDENT: We said it. And, by the way, when he says he works for Siemens, he’s the president of Siemens, but that’s okay. (Laughter.) It’s a good way of saying it. But go ahead.
MR. KAESER: But don’t you work for your country?
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, we work for our country. That’s right. (Laughter.) Same thing. And Siemens is doing good?
MR. KAESER: We’re doing really well. As a matter of fact, we’ve been investing quite a lot into the country. And since you have been successful with tax reform, we decided to develop next-generation gas turbines in the United States.
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, that’s a big thing. That’s very big. That’s fantastic.
MR. KAESER: It is.
THE PRESIDENT: Where will that be developed?
MR. KAESER: Charlotte.
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, Charlotte is great. That’s fantastic. Well, thank you. On behalf of Charlotte, thank you very much — and our country.
MR. KAESER: Our pleasure. Thank you.
MR. RENJEN: Mr. President, thank you for having me. Punit Renjen from Deloitte. On behalf of 265,000 employees across the globe, 70,000 in the U.S., thank you again for having us.
THE PRESIDENT: Great company. Thank you very much. Great job.
MR. RENJEN: Thank you.
MR. SCHNEIDER: Mr. President, thank you for the invitation. Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestle. Nestle was co-founded — this is something that few people know — by American brothers who moved to Switzerland after the Civil War. Today, we employ 50,000 people in the United States. We operate 77 plants. Almost everything we sell is locally made. We offer 10 R&D centers, and we’re excited about what’s going in the U.S. market.
THE PRESIDENT: And people think of Nestle for candy, but I read the other day that’s actually only 3 percent of your company. So what is your primary product now?
MR. SCHNEIDER: Coffee, infant nutrition, water, pet food. Those are the (inaudible).
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Fantastic job you’ve done. Thank you very much.
MR. SCHWAB: Yes. Well, (inaudible) fully engaged also in the United States. But what you probably do not know, one of (inaudible) staff is working in the (inaudible) — 800 people. But tiny compared to you. But one of the staff is working in New York and in our Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s very good. Has this been a very successful one, right here, now?
MR. SCHWAB: Yeah.
THE PRESIDENT: Has it all gone very well? Because it seems to really be going smoothly. A lot of really good relationships.
MR. SCHWAB: Yeah. And even more what I mentioned before, Mr. President — the World Economic Forum is a very business-driven approach to global cooperation. And I think many of the issues can be much faster and much more efficient if business is involved. So that’s what we are doing — creating coalitions between governments, business, and, to a certain extent, also the young generation, to make sure that we really have a pragmatic approach in global governance.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’re honored to be here and be with you. Thank you for this.
MR. SURI: Good evening, Mr. President. I’m Rajeev Suri from Nokia. We’re the leading networks — telecom networks company in the world, number two. We have 15,000 people in the U.S., and it’s one of our strongest R&D setups in the world, spread throughout the U.S. We have half of the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent. We own Nokia Bell Labs, which is in New Jersey. We do a lot of stuff in the West Coast, in Chicago, and throughout the country, really. So just under half of our people do research and development, and the rest are doing services and 4G networks and 5G. So I’m very happy and pleased with your infrastructure focus, and (inaudible).
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
MR. LUNDSTEDT: So, thank you, Mr. President, for inviting all of us. My name is Martian Lundstedt; I’m the president of the Volvo group.
THE PRESIDENT: Volvo.
MR. LUNDSTEDT: Yeah. And among other things, we are the proud owners of Mack trucks.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s right. Which are 100 percent made in the U.S.
MR. LUNDSTEDT: Absolutely. And Volvo trucks (inaudible) North America is 100 percent made in the United States, as well as our construction equipment in Pennsylvania; as a matter of fact, in Allentown and Shippensburg and in Middletown, and New River Valley in Virginia. So we are primarily focused on the East Coast. We are just now running the biggest investment program in our company’s history, in the United States, for R&D
THE PRESIDENT: How much with you will be investing?
MR. LUNDSTEDT: For the time being, just north of 2 billion U.S. dollars into — in that specific program. But we have a big (inaudible) — very, very good (inaudible) infrastructure and transportation.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s great. Absolutely. Well, we’re going to be doing a lot of that. I asked the question before, when I heard Volvo, and I know they own Mack truck — I said, what’s the difference in price between a Mack and a Volvo comparable truck? And you said —
MR. LUNDSTEDT: I said, (inaudible) very strong (inaudible). (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: He said they’re both great, but a Mack is about 15 percent more. (Laughter.) That was very good. Thank you very much for that investment in the U.S. $2 billion is great. Thank you very much.
MR. RORSTED: Mr. President, thank you for the invitation. I represent the Adidas team.
THE PRESIDENT: Adidas, good.
MR. RORSTED: America is our single biggest country, and we (inaudible) 30 percent in the U.S. And some of the most famous creators of our products are coming out of the U.S., starting with Stan Smith in the seventies; Kanye West, probably one of the most (inaudible) shoes in the world. And we just opened a fully automated shoe and (inaudible) plant in the state of Georgia and Atlanta.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s fantastic. Great job.
MR. BAUMANN: Hello, I’m Werner Baumann, and I’m the CEO of Bayer. That’s a company that, in the future, it will be known as the company that is formally the aspirin company. So we are working heavily on (inaudible), national icon in the U.S., making good progress. And hope to close this transaction in early 2018, so it should be a minute.
THE PRESIDENT: So what percentage of your company is the aspirin?
MR. BAUMANN: Aspirin is a 1.1 billion euro, so $1.4 billion.
THE PRESIDENT: So that’s a pretty small percentage.
MR. BAUMANN: It’s relatively small, but it’s one of the few brands that has been growing for 120 years. It’s very profitable. And I think you take it as well. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: I do. I take one a day. (Laughter.) I generally — I should say, I only take Bayer. (Laughter.) One aspirin a day. So far, it’s been working. But it’s a great company. So are you going to be investing in the U.S.?
MR. BAUMANN: Yes, we are. We will actually consolidate most of our activities also into (inaudible) headquarters in St. Louis. We’re going to invest about $16 billion, if you look at —
THE PRESIDENT: $16 billion, wow.
MR. BAUMANN: (Inaudible) R&D investment in crop alone. And 60 percent out of that is going to be in the U.S. over the next six years.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. That’s really great. Thank you.
MR. TUCKER: My name is Mark Tucker from HSBC. HSBC, you know well.
THE PRESIDENT: I do.
MR. TUCKER: Our business in the U.S. began in 1865. And we’re the largest foreign bank in the U.S. We had a business — we have a balance sheet of $2.6 trillion.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s right.
MR. TUCKER: We work in 70 countries, and we have a market capital of around $250 billion. The commitment to the U.S. — we have a very strong business here, and a business that will continue to grow.
THE PRESIDENT: And you founded one of the most successful businesses in China. That is a big statement. You did a great job. So it’s a great honor to have you. Thank you very much. It’s a fantastic job you’ve done. I know all about you. I know everything about you. (Laughter.) Thank you.
MR. TUCKER: That’s dangerous, Mr. President. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: I know. You people have done what you’ve done. Congratulations.
MR. POUYANNE: I’m Patrick Pouyanne, chairman and CEO of Total, which is an oil and gas company, the fourth largest in the world. Out of 50 countries, we are in the U.S. — 7,000 people. We do almost everything in your country. We produce oil, we explore. We are just making a big discovery in the Gulf of Mexico, oil discovery. We produce gas in Texas. We are investing in an energy plant in Louisiana to export gas from the U.S.
What else — we are just deciding to invest $3 billion in petrochemicals in Texas. A big (inaudible), a big plant, creating 1,500 jobs. We have 7,000 people in your country and in 23 states.
THE PRESIDENT: So you’re fourth in the world.
MR. POUYANNE: Yeah, we are fourth largest in the world, and third by reserves — more than 10 billion barrel reserves. (Inaudible) we invest around $15 billion each year, and at least $1 billion as an average in the U.S. And, of course, for us — U.S. (inaudible) gas revolution, (inaudible) revolution. (Inaudible) — lost-cost energy, lost-cost (inaudible). So we come, and even we will do more with your tax reform.
THE PRESIDENT: It’s a great company.
MR. POUYANNE: And we are also invested in renewables. Maybe you disagree, but in solar business, in a U.S. company. We are (inaudible) solar power, California company, high-tech company. And so we are heavily invested in — we’ve invested more than $2 billion in that company to develop solar in the U.S.
THE PRESIDENT: And we’ll rebuild that business. That whole thing is going to get rebuilt now, the solar panels. And you’ll see a big difference. But that’s very good. So from the U.S. standpoint, you’re very happy about it?
MR. POUYANNE: Yes, I’m happy. To be honest, for some (inaudible), there is competition with (inaudible).
THE PRESIDENT: You have competition?
MR. POUYANNE: Yes. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: That’s what we wanted. (Laughter.) No, but you’ve done a great job. Thank you.
MR. POUYANNE: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Appreciate it.
MR. HIESINGER: Mr. President, thank you for the invitation. Heinrich Hiesinger, CEO of Thyssenkrupp. We are strongly localized in the U.S. in elevator engineer automotive. Eighty percent is already localized. Very proud that we have all the elevators in the Freedom Tower —
THE PRESIDENT: Wow.
MR. HIESINGER: — which is, for our people, our big pride. They worked six years on that one. And our other thing is, we have 3,000 apprenticeships for young people each and every year.
THE PRESIDENT: So, Otis compared to the size of what you do, where are you —
MR. HIESINGER: We are quite similar in size.
THE PRESIDENT: It’s a great company.
MR. HIESINGER: We are heading to one to one, because years ago we have acquired Dover, and this made us quite stronger.
THE PRESIDENT: Great. That’s good. Great product. I’ve used your product, as you know. Great product. Thank you very much.
MR. SAETRE: So, thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for the invitation. It’s an honor. My name is Eldar Saetre. I’m the CEO of Statoil — (inaudible) oil and gas coming from Norway — Norwegian, Norway. We’ve been present in the U.S. for 30 years now. Substantial investment over the years. So we’re engaged both in the onshore, the offshore, trading, extensive trading business, and also renewables. Primarily in solar, but offshore wind, actually.
So quite sizeable business, not as big as Total yet, but we’re working on it. So we are growing and increasing our production in three areas onshore; increasing to eight fields offshore; 300,000-plus barrels a day. (Inaudible) around 400,000. So it’s our second biggest location outside of the Norwegian (inaudible). So we are growing in terms of production, and obviously also in terms of investment.
So I would like to congratulate you on the tax reform. I think that is really good news, I guess, for all of us here, but also for the oil and gas, and our industry.
THE PRESIDENT: Good news for a lot of people.
MR. SAETRE: Oil and gas is also a heavily regulated business. So your thinking and your actions on what you’re doing on regulations is good news.
THE PRESIDENT: We’re opening it up, and we’re becoming energy self-sufficient very rapidly. We really, just about are hitting that mark.
And as you know, we’re opening up a lot of different places in the U.S., including the plants that you’re building. A lot of places are opening that would never even have — they wouldn’t have even conceived of them. So a lot of things are happening.
Thank you. Great job you’ve done. Thank you very much.
MR. NARASIMHAN: Mr. President, thank you very much for the honor of being here. I’m the CEO of Novartis. We’re one of the largest healthcare companies in the world. We focus on innovative medicines, generics, as well as eye care.
Today, we have about 22,000 employees in the U.S. across 21 sites. We invest about $14 billion every year into the United States, including $3.5 billion in research. It’s one of our key, obviously, markets, but also key places where we drive innovation. And we’re really pleased with the tax reform, but also very pleased with the great progress being made at FDA. We believe you have a great leadership team there and they’re doing all the right things to accelerate innovation.
THE PRESIDENT: Scott is great, and Alex is great. You know, Alex is just starting, and he’s highly respected. So that’s fantastic. Scott Gottlieb, as you know, is a star.
MR. NARASIMHAN: He is a star. And I think his vision for tobacco and trying to improve — reduce the use of tobacco around the world is also very inspiring.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s very good. Thank you very much.
MR. SPIESSHOFER: Mr. President, thank you very much for having me tonight. I serve the people of ABB. We have business in more than 100 countries of the world, but we have made, the last eight years, the U.S. an investment focus. We have deployed $13 billion of capital, and bought some iconic brands in the U.S., like Baldor in Fort Smith, Arkansas, a motor company. And we are just now in the process of closing the transaction to acquire GE Industrial Solutions, a fantastic business, in terms of install base. It needs a little bit of investment, in terms of technology and —
THE PRESIDENT: Did you get a good price? Did you get a good price?
MR. SPIESSHOFER: I got a good price, yeah.
THE PRESIDENT: I know you got a — you always get a good price. (Laughter.) I know who I deal with. He always gets a good price. That’s good.
MR. SPIESSHOFER: Altogether — so we have today now, including the (inaudible) have 26,000 people in the U.S., in more than 60 sites, nicely spread over all the U.S. We have the classic copper and iron activities, the motors. And just last week, we (inaudible) the entire executive committee team time in Silicon Valley, because there we have an AI and robotics center that we firmly intend to grow further and invest significantly to support the U.S. in the next level of industrialization.
THE PRESIDENT: One year write-off. Big difference, right?
MR. SPIESSHOFER: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s probably the biggest sleeper in the whole tax bill.
MR. SPIESSHOFER: Absolutely.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Great job. Good luck with the GE purchase. Well done.
MR. SPIESSHOFER: Thank you. We need that.
THE PRESIDENT: Sounds good. You’ll be just fine. (Laughter.) Go ahead.
MR. BRITO: Mr. President, thank you very much for the invitation. I’m the CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev, a beer company.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Anheuser-Busch.
MR. BRITO: We have (inaudible) more than 50 countries around the world. We sell beer in more than 100 countries. Our number one local beer brand is Budweiser, out of St. Louis.
THE PRESIDENT: Right. We know it well.
MR. BRITO: We started there in 1852, and we’ve been in the beer business for more than 600 years. Our Belgian business dates back to 1366, our Belgian company. And our biggest market is the U.S., where we employ 18,000 people in more than 50 sites. And we’ve just announced last year a program through 2020 to build our investment and our facilities in the U.S.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s fantastic. That’s good. Thank you very much. That’s fantastic. Thank you very much.
MR. BRITO: Thank you, sir.
MR. MCDERMOTT: Hey, Mr. President. I’d like to thank you, first of all, for having me, but also for spurring on all this growth because these are all my customers.
THE PRESIDENT: I know. (Laughter.)
MR. MCDERMOTT: I mean, it’s kind of amazing to have all your customers talking about adding jobs and growing their business. And it’s just a real tribute to the momentum that you’ve created in a global economy. So I thank you very much.
SAP is the leading enterprise sulfur company. We have 90,000 people around the world. In the United States, we’re quickly approaching 25,000. It’s the fastest-growing region in the world, especially in jobs.
I’m very proud to share with you that, when you think about the Army and the Navy, and the missions they run to protect the world, they run on SAP.
And when you think about the Vice President, in the state of Indiana, for example, solving infant mortality issues and things like that, we were working hand-in-glove with him there as well.
So it’s a real honor, and thank you for having me. And we look forward to helping in any way we can.
THE PRESIDENT: And you have done a really spectacular job. I guess pretty much everybody at this table is your customer, so that’s not so bad.
MR. MCDERMOTT: Exactly. Exactly.
THE PRESIDENT: I want to congratulate you —
MR. MCDERMOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: I want to thank everybody. Really, you have done incredible work, incredible jobs. These are some of the great companies of the world, many of the great companies of the world. And congratulations.
And now we’ll talk. And thank you very much. Appreciate it. Thank you very much.