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Ericsson chairman Leif Johansson says China is still important to the world economy

China's growth rate may be slowing, but it is still a positive driver for the global economy, the chairman of Swedish technology giant Ericsson told CNBC.

Speaking at the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia in China's Hainan province, Leif Johansson said global companies have to be in China, whether the world's second largest economy is growing at 5 percent or 11 percent.

"You need to adjust to that," he said, adding, "Most of us would be happy in Europe if we had a 6, 6.5 or even a 5 percent growth rate."

Concerns over China's slowing economic growth have festered for several years. Authorities announced a growth target of 6.5 to 7 percent for this year at the annual National People's Congress (NPC) meeting, after the economy grew 6.9 percent in 2015 - the slowest pace in quarter of a century.

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Cristina Arias | Cover | Getty Images

Ericsson, which provides telecommunications technologies, has a big business in China, according to Johansson. However competition is heating up in the country with two local players achieving global prominence - telecommunication equipment and system providers ZTE and Huawei.

But Johansson is unfazed. He said one of the best ways to compete with local companies is to meet them in China. "It's turning to be a very competitive industry globally, with few players and a couple of them are in China."

In 2015, Ericsson saw its net sales in China rise to 18.98 billion Swedish krona ($2.31 billion), up from 14.34 billion krona in 2014.

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