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Uncertainty surrounding emerging markets may be spooking investors on fears of a global economic slowdown, but Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis is not reining in its developing country plans, its chief executive told CNBC.
Joseph Jimenez told CNBC Friday that the company will not retreat from its position in emerging markets, even though its exposure has had an adverse impact on their growth figures.
"We are not pulling back, we're in these markets for the long term. We are going to live through the volatility and we're going to come out as a stronger Novartis, once these economies start to move as fast as they were before," Jimenez said.
With 26 percent of Novartis' revenues stemming from emerging markets, Jimenez, confirmed that the business' growth rate had now slowed, attributing China as a determinant to this slowdown.
"We've seen a little bit of a slowdown in emerging markets particularly China, but in our business that means moving from mid-double digit growth rates to now in the mid-single digit growth rates. So if you think about the global healthcare market maybe growing at 2 or 3 percent, this is still an incremental growth. "
However, it is the generics side of Novartis' business where Jimenez sees growth in China really thriving. Sandoz, the generic pharmaceuticals division of Novartis, offers more than 1,000 distinct types of medicine. Jimenez said that what's becoming a popular buy in China is offering high-quality medicine at an affordable price, which in turn is helping the drugmaker maintain its growth and position.
Another hot topic is the U.S. Federal Reserve and its decision to leave interest rates on hold on Thursday. While Novartis has huge exposure to the U.S., and reports its figures in the U.S. currency, the question of interest rate timing wasn't a concern to Jimenez.
He added he expected the central bank to raise rates at some point in the future, but the more significant matter that took place on Thursday was the influence of China.
"The more interesting thing is that this is the first time that an event in China has led to global dislocation of financial markets. I think that is a big marker that says China has arrived and it's is going to have a big impact on global markets."
Overall, Novartis remains confident that if there is any impact from any situation, whether that be China or the Fed, they can survive any stormy volatility.
—By CNBC's Alexandra Gibbs, follow her on Twitter