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(2021) Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, the President and CEO of Novo Nordisk: We are impressed by China’s “dual circulation” strategy

Hello, I am Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, the President and CEO of Novo Nordisk. It is a great honour for me to be invited to the China Development Forum 2021.

Novo Nordisk is a leading global healthcare company, founded in 1923 and headquartered in Denmark. Our purpose is to drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases. We do so by pioneering scientific breakthroughs, expanding access to our medicines and working to prevent and ultimately cure disease.

Novo Nordisk has a special and long-standing tie with China, and we are committed to work in close partnership with the government, our valuable partners to make sure that we can better reach and support the 129 million people living with diabetes in China.

Therefore, deeply rooted in China for the past 27 years, Novo Nordisk has established a local presence covering the full value chain, from R&D, production to commercial operations. Today, China has become our second largest market.

The economic and social disruption caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic have been devastating from an economic and social perspective. But we are also seeing the emergence of different, more agile ways of developing new solutions to the problems we are facing. Public-private collaborations rise to the challenge, people work in an even more solutions-oriented way.

COVID-19 has demonstrated a collective obligation to find sustainable ways to reduce the health inequalities that exist on a global scale. In Novo Nordisk, we have strengthened our commitments to better support vulnerable patients and high-risk groups – for example by ensuring the supply of lifesaving medicines and supporting societies and communities worldwide. Our donation of insulin for people in 50 low- and middle-income countries was specifically acknowledged by WHO Director General Dr. Tedros.

At the same time, we commend China’s effective control of the pandemic domestically as well as support to the global community. The Chinese leadership has made a bold call for the need to establish “a global community of health for all” and Novo Nordisk is ready to be a very active part of the solution.

We are impressed by China’s resilience in economic recovery and advancing a “dual circulation” strategy combining domestic development and global integration. In China, Novo Nordisk contributes to local innovation and has achieved robust growth during 2020 as a consequence of increasing domestic demands.

While remaining focused on addressing unmet medical needs, Novo Nordisk has delivered on its commitment to China by announcing at CIIE 2020 a new investment in Shanghai of 200 million RMB to further expand our footprints in China.

2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin, however our journey of defeating diabetes is far from over. We are dedicated to defeating diabetes with focus on prevention, access and affordability, innovation, as well as extending our focus and solutions to obesity, a major public health challenge for the 21st century. In China, we have made sustained contributions to the Healthy China 2030 initiatives through partnerships including “Cities Changing Diabetes” in six major cities and screening programs for around 1.3 million people across the country to detect the risk of diabetes and its complications.

Finally, with our “Circular for Zero” environmental strategy, we pursue an ambitious target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030 by taking on a circular approach to products, supply and business operations. To this end, we are encouraged by China’s pledge for carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060.

The China Development Forum offers an important opportunity for governments, academia, international organisations and business leaders to exchange ideas and inspire each other on how we can mobilise multilateral partnerships to tackle global challenges and fuel sustainable growth. I appreciate China’s efforts in organizing such an important platform for dialogue and wish the CDF 2021 great success.