Li wants to ‘open door wider’ to in­vest­ment

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHAO HUANXIN and HONG XIAO in New York

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.”

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

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.

HONG XIAO / CHINA DAILY

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.

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