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Much room for China-ASEAN economic cooperation


09:26, November 30, 2012

BEIJING, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- China holds great business opportunities for members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), who in turn welcome investment from Chinese enterprises, the heads of some ASEAN chambers of commerce said Thursday.

Dismissing concerns that China is not as friendly to foreign investment as it has been in the past, Seet Poh Kim, chairwoman of the Singaporean Chamber of Commerce in China, said China's sounder set of laws and rules have made the country more appealing to Singaporean enterprises.

Compared with a decade ago, the increase in laws that regulate economic activities help keep businesses on the right track, a boon for cooperation between the two sides, Seet said.

Peter Thong, former chairman of the Malaysian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China, echoed Seet's comments, saying although foreign-invested enterprises are no longer the recipients of preferential policies like tax cuts, China's large appetite for high-tech cooperation has made more room for Malaysian investment.

They made the remarks at a news briefing on enterprise cooperation between China and ASEAN members. The event was hosted in Beijing by the China-ASEAN Business Council (CABC), one of the main dialogue and cooperation mechanisms for China and ASEAN members.

Peter and Seet both said ASEAN enterprises should learn to adapt to the new business environment in China as the country upgrades its economic growth pattern.

At the same time, the ASEAN also welcomes more investment programs from Chinese enterprises, according to the attendees of the news briefing.

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