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China Levels Playing Field for Foreign Companies


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In his opening remarks at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin on Monday, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao outlined several of China’s new economic policies and highlighted the government’s new initiatives to level the playing field for foreign investors in the country.

“China’s economy is now in good shape, featuring fast growth, gradual structural improvement, rising employment and basic price stability, ” Wen stated to an audience comprised mostly of foreign investors and government leaders.

Despite these improvements however, Wen also acknowledged domestic shortcomings such as the explosion of property prices, environmental protection issues, and income inequality. China’s economic growth decreased to 10.3 percent in the second quarter, down from 11.9 percent in the first quarter.

Wen highlighted positive progress in China’s economy, citing a cumulative US$1.05 trillion in foreign investments, putting China’s economy first among developing countries. Additionally, the slight strengthening of the yuan in relation to the U. S. dollar for the third consecutive trading session has followed the Premier’s remarks at Tianjin, perhaps providing another small reassurance to foreign investors and easing political pressure on Beijing.

Other issues involving foreign corporations have cropped up in recent years. Multinationals have recently hit a rough patch with investing in China, reporting discrimination and unclear policies as just a few of the roadblocks. Last summer’s Rio Tinto scandal drew attention to tensions between multinationals and state-owned enterprises and alerted foreign investors to potential pitfalls while conducting business in China. Other issues alarming foreign investors have included theft of intellectual property, lack of transparency, and the inefficient use of natural resources. Wen spoke to these fears by reassuring investors that measures would be taken, and new policies established, in order to equalize the playing field for foreign enterprises entering China.

In an effort to promote China as a “responsible stakeholder” in global economic recovery, Wen told forum attendees that “China is committed to creating an open and fair environment for foreign-invested enterprises, ” and that recent conflicts arising from MNCs entering China “is not all due to misunderstanding by foreign companies. It’s also because our policies were not clear enough. ”

In the spirit of demonstrating China’s proclaimed “sustainable development” in the world economic sphere, the Tianjin World Economic Forum has incorporated “green” aspects to promote environmental sustainability. These initiatives include low-carbon conference rooms, organically prepared foods, and electrically powered transportation, reinforcing Wen’s pledge that China “will continue to conserve resources and protect the environment and raise the efficiency of resource utilization and the capacity to tackle climate change. ”

This article was written for the China business news , China Briefing provides all you need to know about the latest in doing business in China , provided by China accountants and business advisors, Dezan Shira & Associates.


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