U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez, China Vice Minister of Commerce Jiang Zengwei Join Wal-Mart to Recognize Retailer’s Contribution to Success of China-U.S. Bilateral Economic Relationship
(BEIJING, China, December 10, 2007) – Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. today celebrated the approval of Wal-Mart’s hundredth store in Mainland China with Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez from the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and Vice Minister Jiang Zengwei from China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM). The approval marks a major milestone for Wal-Mart China, which opened its first Supercenter in Shenzhen in 1996.
Secretary Gutierrez and Vice Minister Jiang joined together with Wal-Mart China President & CEO Ed Chan, associates, supplier partners and customers, to celebrate this important milestone—which represents a benchmark in the successful and growing bilateral economic relationship between China and the United States.
Wal-Mart has brought great benefits to China, not just through the economic growth it has generated, but also through its commitment to sustainable and innovative business practices, which are helping China’s entire retail industry progress. Wal-Mart currently employs more than 42,000 associates in China, and is widely recognized for bringing advanced industry practices along with strict ethical and food and product safety standards to its suppliers and the industry generally.
While the company has been creating substantial economic opportunity in China for many years, its growing retail presence has become a significant channel for bilateral engagement in a variety of areas. Wal-Mart now imports more than 6,600 categories of U.S. products into China, giving local consumers access to the same choice of high quality goods that American consumers have in the United States. The company also rigorously enforces intellectual property rights (IPR) and was the first company to be subject to a bilateral advance pricing agreement (BAPA) between the U.S. and China, which has helped advance taxation cooperation between the two countries.
“Wal-Mart is delivering U.S. products like California Grapes, Washington apples and popcorn to Chinese consumers. The more Wal-Mart stores that open in China, the greater the opportunities for U.S. exporters,” said Guiterrez. “This week I am in China to discuss breaking down barriers to trade and creating more access for U.S companies in the Chinese market. With the U.S. and China working together for the good of both of our citizens, we will see our economies flourish, our peoples prosper and our companies, like Wal-Mart, contribute to jobs, opportunity and stronger communities.”
“Wal-Mart is delighted and honored to have achieved this one hundredth store milestone,” said Ed Chan. “We are excited to continue expanding in China—providing new economic opportunities to communities and bringing customers the product range and value they deserve. This is how we can bring to life our mission of saving people money so they can live better.”
Coinciding with the celebration in Beijing was the grand opening of the new Wal-Mart Supercenter in Loudi, Hunan Province. The opening is representative of the retailer’s growth into smaller Chinese markets and is one of more than 23 new store openings nationwide this year. The Mayor of Loudi, Lin Wu, was the guest of honor at the store opening, which was linked to the Beijing celebrations via live satellite feed. Together, the Loudi and Beijing guests of honor took part in a ribbon cutting for the Loudi store followed by a traditional Chinese lion dance.
“The opening of our new Loudi Supercenter coincides with a special moment in our development in China because it is an example of how we are investing in smaller cities that have traditionally been underserved by organized retailers and where our presence will improve distribution channels for both Chinese and U.S. consumer goods and agricultural products,” said Mr. Chan. “It also demonstrates how our investment supports the Chinese government’s goal of bringing economic opportunity and jobs to second and third-tier cities.”
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam’s Club locations in the United States. The Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. Wal-Mart serves more than 176 million customers weekly in 14 markets. The Company’s securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT. For more information: www.walmartfacts.com
About Wal-Mart in China
Wal-Mart entered China in 1996, opening its first Chinese Supercenter in Shenzhen. Currently Wal-Mart operates three store formats in China: Supercenters, Sam’s Clubs and Neighborhood Markets. The company strives to provide customers with a one-stop shopping experience with friendly service and a wide selection of quality products at Every Day Low Prices. As an outstanding corporate citizen in the communities it serves, Wal-Mart has won awards such as “Best Employer,” “Best Community Involvement,” “Supplier Satisfaction Recognition” and “Most Admired Company.” For more information about Wal-Mart in China, please visit www.wal-martchina.com.