China to widen mar­ket ac­cess for for­eign in­vestors

The Gulf Today - Business - - FRONT PAGE -

MADRID: China will widen mar­ket ac­cess for for­eign in­vestors and step up pro­tec­tion of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights, China’s Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said on Wed­nes­day ahead of the G20 meet­ing of world lead­ers in Ar­gentina.

Speak­ing be­fore the Span­ish up­per house of par­lia­ment dur­ing a two-day stop in Madrid, Xi also said China planned to im­port $10 tril­lion worth of goods over the next five years.

“China will make ef­forts to open, even more, its doors to the ex­te­rior world and we will make ef­forts to stream­line ac­cess to mar­kets in the ar­eas of in­vest­ment and pro­tect in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty,” Xi said.

Xi made no ref­er­ence to US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, who on Mon­day said he ex­pected to move ahead with rais­ing tar­iffs on $200 bil­lion in Chi­nese im­ports to 25 per cent from the cur­rent 10 per cent.

But in a joint dec­la­ra­tion adopted af­ter Xi’s meet­ing with Span­ish Prime Min­is­ter Pe­dro Sanchez, Spain and China said they backed “an open and bal­anced global econ­omy based on WTO rules, reaf­firm­ing their com­mit­ment to fight­ing pro­tec­tion­ism and uni­lat­er­al­ism.” Two very small groups of de­mon­stra­tors, one ex­press­ing op­po­si­tion to China’s hu­man rights record and one wav­ing a “Wel­come” sign, gath­ered out­side the se­nate as the Chi­nese leader spoke.

Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan ear­lier stood side by side with Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Le­tizia in the crisp Madrid win­ter sun out­side the Royal Palace to re­ceive full mil­i­tary hon­ours from the king’s guards.

China and Spain on Wed­nes­day signed an ac­cord on the ex­port of Ibe­rian ham to China, as part of a se­ries of deals inked dur­ing the state visit.

Mean­while, China’s fac­to­ries likely strug­gled to grow for a sec­ond straight month in Novem­ber as cool­ing de­mand at home and the threat of higher US tar­iffs sti­fled new or­ders, a Reuters poll showed, adding to risks fac­ing the global econ­omy.

The of­fi­cial sur­vey on Fri­day will of­fer the first clues on the health of China’s vast man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor this month, a day ahead of high-stakes talks be­tween US and Chi­nese lead­ers which will de­ter­mine the fu­ture of the coun­tries’ trade war.

Ex­porters in China have been hit by fresh US tar­iffs on about $200 bil­lion of Chi­nese prod­ucts since late Sep­tem­ber, and Wash­ing­ton has threat­ened to sharply hike du­ties on Jan. 1 un­less Bei­jing ac­cedes to a wide range of de­mands to cor­rect what Wash­ing­ton de­scribes as “un­fair” trade prac­tices.

Agence France-presse

Span­ish Prime Min­is­ter Pe­dro Sanchez (right) ap­plauds with Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping as they ar­rive to sign agree­ments fol­low­ing a meet­ing at the Mon­cloa Palace in Madrid on Wed­nes­day.

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