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China still desirable location for foreign business

By Huang Jin (People's Daily Online)

17:08, April 25, 2013

Christian Murck, president of Amcham China, holds the press conference on April 24, 2013, Beijing. (PD Online/Huang Jin)

U.S. companies still remain strongly committed to China as the country's economic maturity is increasingly evident, according to the latest report released by the American Chamber of Commerce in China (Amcham China) on Wednesday.

The report, 2013 State of American Business in China White Paper, indicates that China continues to be a desirable location for foreign business after the start of its reform and opening up three decades ago.

Since the global economic slowdown, China has continued to grow not only as an important production base for foreign companies, but increasingly as a market, said the White Paper.

In 2012, the American business community in China remained optimistic, driven by strong performance and expectations of significant growth in domestic demand for the next three years.

Over 40 percent of survey respondents say operating margins in China are better than the global average for their company, the White Paper reported.

Looking forward, the government has set ambitious targets for China to be known not only as efficient manufacturing base, but also as an innovator in both technology and services.

"China's new leadership has taken office amid a growing consensus about the urgency for economic reforms," said chamber president Christian Murck. "We are encouraged that they have endorsed a reduction in number of required government approvals, internationalization of the RMB, inclusive urbanization as a driver of growth, and continuation of the reform and opening process."

Alongside national economic progress, China's rapid economic growth has been accompanied by growing concern over pollution, food safety and energy supply, the White Paper also pointed out.

The report said a number of pressing issues, including continued urbanization, high levels of income inequality, environmental degradation and the hukou household registration system, are closely interrelated and must be addressed with coherent and consistent polices.

The 15th edition of the 376-page White Paper, which is written by volunteer AmCham China members, offers recommendations on reforms that would improve the business climate in areas of investment, standards, transparency, and IPR.

It also provides detailed snapshots of business conditions across some two dozen industries, ranging from clean technology to financial services to information and communications technology.

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