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No limits to Chinese investment: U.S. ambassador

(Xinhua)

08:18, September 10, 2012

XIAMEN, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- The United States welcomes more Chinese investment and there is virtually no sector that is off-limits to Chinese investors, U.S. ambassador to China Gary Locke said on Saturday.

He made the remarks in an interview with Xinhua at the ongoing 16th International Fair for Investment and Trade in the southeastern city of Xiamen.

Locke said although the foreign direct investment flows between the world's two largest economies had grown rapidly in recent years, there are still plenty of room for growth.

As of the end of 2011, Chinese investment into the U.S. accounted for less than 3 percent of the country's total foreign direct investment and roughly 1 percent of the total foreign investment the U.S. received.

To encourage more foreign capital inflows, Locke said the U.S. has initiated specialized program called "Select U.S.A." and it will hold a large investment conference for top Chinese companies this coming December.

Locke cited Tianjin Pipe's steel pile mill investment in Texas and Wanda Group's acquisition of AMC Entertainment as successful Chinese investment in the U.S.

Asked to comment on recent reports about foreign businesses planning to leave China due to rising labor and materials costs, Locke said the phenomenon is always happening throughout the world.

A report jointly released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AmCham Singapore said 21 percent of American companies plan to shift part of their investment or operations in China to Southeast Asian countries in the coming two years due to China's rising production cost.

Locke said China could see this shift as an opportunity to move up the value chain.

He said decades ago America had started to move its simple manufacturing to Mexico, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea and then the Chinese mainland, so that it can focus on high-end industries.

"The challenge and the key is to keep providing good-paying jobs to Chinese people and focus on education and technology," he said.

Locke said the U.S. welcomes Chinese government's steps to ease restrictions on foreign investment, and he said he expects more policy changes concerning the foreign capital in the financial service sector.

Locke was elected as Washington state's 21st governor in 1996, becoming the first Chinese-American governor in U.S. history. He was appointed Ambassador to China in 2011.

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