World Economy

China Premier Defends Free Trade, Foreign Investments

China Premier Defends Free Trade, Foreign InvestmentsChina Premier Defends Free Trade, Foreign Investments

China will increase access to the service and manufacturing sectors, relax restrictions on foreign ownership, and treat Chinese and foreign companies on an equal basis, Premier Li Keqiang said Tuesday.

Li made the remarks when delivering a speech at the opening ceremony of the annual meeting of the New Champions 2017, also known as Summer Davos, in the northeastern coastal city of Dalian, Xinhua reported.

China will be proactive with opening up and create a business environment that is internationally competitive, Li said. To make it easier for foreigners to set up enterprises, China will test a process whereby Chinese and foreign companies can register at the same window, he said.

Domestic and foreign companies will also enjoy the same policy support when doing business in China. “All companies registered in China will be eligible to enjoy the same supportive policies that China offers in accordance with World Trade Organization rules to push forward the ‘Made in China 2025’ strategy and promote technological innovation,” he said.

Foreign companies are encouraged to use profits from the Chinese market to invest in China, he said, adding that should they want they can choose to take their profits out of China without any restrictions.

“(Foreign-funded firms), I believe, will reap generous profits if you reinvest what you earned here in China,” Li said.

China will also encourage multinational corporations to set up regional headquarters in China, and encourage foreign firms to invest more in central, western and northeastern China, the premier said.

The Chinese economy with its steady, long-term growth and gradual openness will generate more opportunities for other countries, and China will remain the most attractive destination worldwide for investment, Li said. In the next five years, China will import goods worth $8 trillion, he added.

Li also tried to dispel concern about the rapid rise in Chinese debt since the 2008 crisis, which private sector analysts cite as the biggest potential risk to the world’s second-largest economy.

The Moody’s rating agency cut Beijing’s credit rating May 25 and the International Monetary Fund urged Beijing on June 14 to take faster action to get debt under control.

“In the financial sector there are some risks, but we have the ability to uphold the bottom line of no systemic financial risks,” Li said.

From Tuesday to Thursday, around 1,500 politicians, officials, entrepreneurs, scholars, and media representatives from over 90 countries and regions will discuss topics from inclusive growth to the new industrial revolution.

The meeting, themed “Achieving Inclusive Growth in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” focuses on how technology and policy innovation can accelerate a more inclusive style of economic growth that prioritizes meaningful job creation and sustainable development.

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