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Joint investment system urged

By Zhou Siyu (China Daily)

10:04, June 06, 2013

A helicopter made by Chongqing Helicopter Investment Co Ltd is displayed at the company's booth at an exhibition in Chongqing on May 16. The company acquired the US-based Enstrom Helicopter Corp in December. Chinese investments in the US have grown dramatically in the past few decades. [Photo/ China Daily]

Representatives from China, US reject the idea that nations must be adversaries

China and the United States should strive to establish a freer, more transparent and efficient mechanism to boost bilateral investment, according to business representatives from both countries.

The representatives have just taken part in the fourth annual dialogue between CEOs from the two countries and former senior officials.

The event is co-hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce and China Center for International Economic Exchanges, a high-level government think tank.

Participants rejected the view that future relations between the two nations can only be adversaries. Instead, they believe that elements of healthy competition will always exist in the relationship, according to a statement released by the two organizations.

The statement was made just days before a meeting between President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart, Barack Obama, in Southern California.

Wei Jianguo, former vice-minister of commerce and also vice-chairman and secretary-general of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said the highlight of this year's dialogue was the consensus among business representatives that companies and governments in both countries should promote free bilateral investment.

"(Governments in) China and the US should set up a more open trade system. This, at the same time, will be a big effort against trade protectionism," Wei said at a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday.

Wei, a China Daily guest economist, said the priority for the two sides is to conduct studies on opportunities and challenges in a future China-US free trade agreement.

Jeremie Waterman, executive director, Greater China, of a US Chamber of Commerce, said the Sino-US free trade agreement remains a long-term objective and the current focus for businesses on both sides to enhance bilateral investment.

Waterman said companies from both countries have to face investment reviews before entering each other's markets, and agreed that a small number of Chinese companies have encountered obstacles in investing in the US.

But he said the proportion of Chinese companies facing such hurdles is likely to remain small, and that both countries have realized the economic benefits of enhanced bilateral investment.

Participants in this year's dialogue agreed, calling on both governments to further simplify reviews of foreign investors, and to ensure companies from both sides should be subject to the same reviews.

They also urged the two governments to conduct national security and antitrust reviews with enhanced transparency and efficiency and to ensure that no "broader political factors" should have an impact on government considerations, the joint statement said.

Wei said companies in the two countries realize the important role played by bilateral investment in creating jobs and spurring economic growth.

The US is the largest investor in China, while Chinese investments in the US have grown dramatically in the past few decades.

The US will soon focus on expanding exports and revitalizing the manufacturing sector, while China will prioritize boosting domestic consumption and advancing its service industry.

This trend will help both countries to balance their economies and create opportunities for companies in both nations, the joint statement said.

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