Chinese official refutes allegation subsidies given to SOEs for outbound investment

13:57, November 01, 2010      

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Allegations that China's state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have received subsidies during their "go global" drive are "entirely groundless," a senior Minister of Commerce (MOC) official said Monday.

Vice Minister of Commerce Chen Jian refuted the allegations at a press conference in response to a question on China's outbound investment and cooperation.

"Some have taken it for granted that China's SOEs are enjoying the support of the government," Chen said. "In fact, the SOEs operate independently and are responsible for their own profits or losses and have been doing so ever since the country adopted its socialist market economy."

He said Chinese enterprises' investments overseas are economic activities decided by market factors.

"Chinese enterprises' outbound investment is good in general because of the active role of the international multilateral trade and investment system," he said.

But he added that some Chinese enterprises have been "unfairly treated" in some regions and countries when they attempted to make outbound investments, without naming the specific regions and countries.

"Such unfair treatment was solely trade and investment protectionism," he added.

In August, 52 U.S. Congressmen attempted to block China's first investment in the American steel industry.

In a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, they requested an investigation into a deal between China's Anshan Iron and Steel Group (Ansteel) and Mississippi-based Steel Development Co.

The deal, which involves establishing a joint venture in the United States, was finalized in September.

According to the MOC, direct outbound investments by Chinese enterprises in 2009 rose 1.1 percent year on year to 56.5 billion U.S. dollars.



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