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Chinese investors 'can help create jobs' in the US

(China Daily)

09:50, September 21, 2011

The new US Ambassador Gary Locke delivering a speech to US business leaders in Beijing on Tuesday. Feng Yongbin / China Daily

BEIJING - The US ambassador to China said his top priority is to support President Barack Obama's job-creating efforts by two means: increasing Chinese investment in the United States and expanding American exports.

"Creating more jobs for Americans is the foremost priority of the Obama administration," said Gary Locke, the former US commerce secretary, who took the new post in August.

"We will help Chinese companies and entrepreneurs better understand the benefits and ease of investing in the US by establishing factories, facilities, operations and offices," Locke said in Beijing on Tuesday in a speech to US business leaders.

Chinese companies that invest in the US find it hard to understand tax structures and tax incentives among the 50 states and navigate multiple federal agencies regarding permits and other requirements, Locke said.

The US will make its investment and commercial environment as open and appealing as possible, he said.

Chinese companies seeking to invest in the US still face many barriers, said Wei Jianguo, secretary-general of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, a top domestic think tank.

"The ambassador highlighted (that) the two sides should strengthen mutual understanding and promote communications and respect among companies, sending a very positive signal," said Wei, who was formerly vice-minister of commerce.

Robert Hormats, the US' under-secretary of state for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs, said the US welcomes Chinese direct investment but is worried about the role of State-owned enterprises.

"We are very welcoming of Chinese investment. (But) we have to figure out the right way of doing it and creating the right environment," Hormats said.

However, only a very few Chinese investments in the US have raised national security issues and are forwarded to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, he said.

The US government is committed to loosening its restrictions on high-technology exports.

The US will make many products easier to export to China and other countries by no longer requiring a license for such exports while also ensuring its national security, Locke said.

At the same time, it is necessary to make it easier for Chinese business people and tourists to get visas to travel to the US for business and leisure, he said.

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