In an interview, Thomas E. Gestrich, president, International Paper (IP) Asia, talked about the Asian market. Gestrich thinks IP's biggest achievement in the Asian market is the people it has employed. So 30% of his time is spent on people -- who to bring in, how to develop them, and how to move them around. Globally IP organizes its strategy according to what its customers are doing. It believes that some of the compelling cost issues going on in China will make exports more and more difficult over time, it is also focused on how to be competitive in southeast Asia and India using very similar strategies. Each country has their tariffs, unique legislation and requirements. Seventy percent of economic growth in the world comes from Asia and 40% of that comes from China in paper board and pulp. IP needs to position itself to be part of the growth.
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