Li wants to ‘open door wider’ to investment
Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday that China will “open its door even wider” to foreign investment.
Speaking to the Economic Club of New York, Li said that “the areas of Chinese economy open to foreign investment will only increase, and China will open its door even wider.”
Li spoke at a banquet sponsored by the Economic Club of New York and the National Committee on United States-China Relations (NCUSCR) and the National Council for US-China Trade.
The premier said he listened to some complaints from executives of foreign companies saying they still face restrictions in accessing the Chinese market.
“I want to say that it has not been long since China launched its reform and opening-up drive, and some sectors in the Chinese economy have not become mature ones, but the process of them to become more mature is also a process for them to further open up,” he said.
Li said the two economies are complementary, but that China has a long way to catch up on per capita GDP. “We should not only see the size of gross domestic product; we must also see the per capita of GDP,” Li said. “The per capita GDP of the US is seven times as much as that of China.”
Li also said that development in China has positive implications on the US.
He said investment from China, and the massive amount of imports from the US, such as industrial and agricultural products, has created nearly 1 million jobs in the United States.
If the US economy were to sour, it would have a negative effect on the Chinese economy, he said.
“China, along with the US, contributed half of the world’s economic growth,” the premier said, adding that his country is committed to peaceful development as well as reform and an opening-up drive.
For 24 consecutive years, China has been the largest recipient of foreign direct investment among the developing countries.
“Looking forward, we hope China will remain one of the most attractive destinations for foreign investment,” he said.
Attracting foreign investment is not just for the capital, it is also for working with multinationals to draw upon their advanced technology and managerial expertise, he said.
Li assured business executives that in technological cooperation, there should be no preconditions attached, and there will be no mandatory requirements for technology transfers.
Henry Kissinger, former US secretary of state, said that the US and China will become the world’s two most consequential countries, not only economically but geopolitically”.
Kissinger said he hoped that the two countries could communicate better, avoid conflicts and find the common good. He called for a joint effort in solving important issues related to world peace and stability.
“The One Belt One Road Initiative is historic both in scope and in impact,” Kissinger said. He said the US should find a way “to participate in some of its projects.”
Stephen Orlins, NCUSCR president, said Li’s remarks “were very enlightening to an American audience. ... (China has) continued (its) commitment to being open to American investment and foreign investment generally.”
“Your wonderful answer … has given us an overview to your government’s thinking on a range of critical policy issues,” Carla A. Hills, chair of the NCUSCR Board of Directors, said in commenting the question and answer session in which Li took up questions from the audience.
“This year, the UN General Assembly is focused on sustainable development. ... China and the US, the world’s two largest economies, have formally committed to the Paris climate agreement. The world will be a better and safer place as a result of our collaboration,” she said.
“This partnership is an outstanding example of the good (that) can come not only to our two nations but to the world at large when we work together. And your meeting yesterday with President Obama is continued evidence of our joint dedication to find sound solutions to tough problems. And we look forward to much more collaboration in the days, the weeks, the months ahead.”
“I’m very pleased, premier, with the way that you addressed the need to continue to build trade around the world,” said Barbara Franklin, a director of the US China Business Council. “The trade and investment are the very foundation of stable relations between the United Stations and China.”
Premier Li Keqiang greets former secretary of state Henry Kissinger at the Waldorf Astoria New York hotel on Tuesday as former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg looks on.
Premier Li Keqiang delivers a speech at the gala dinner co-hosted by the Economic Club of New York at the Waldorf Astoria New York hotel in New York on Tuesday.