Hu Jintao Meets with American Business Representatives
In the afternoon of November 10 local time, President Hu Jintao who was attending the 19th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii met with the representatives of the US business community. Hu spoke highly of their active role in promoting the bilateral exchanges and strengthening the Asia-Pacific economic cooperation and stressed that China-US economic and trade cooperation is mutually beneficial in nature. To deepen economic and trade cooperation between China and the US is important to the welfare of people of both countries and to the recovery and growth of world economy as well. He expects the US business community to play a bigger part to boost the bilateral economic and trade cooperation and the development of bilateral ties.
President of the US Chamber of Commerce Thomas Donohue, FedEx Chief Operating Officer Michael Ducker, President of the US Underwriters Laboratories Keith Williams and other American business representatives expressed views on how to develop US-China economic and trade cooperation under current circumstances. They said that China's reform and opening up have achieved tremendous results and infrastructure, environmental protection, science and technology have developed rapidly. The US-China economic and trade relationship is the most important bilateral economic and trade relations in the 21st century. The US business community consistently supports the development of bilateral relations and will continue to expand investment and the mutually beneficial cooperation in China. They also put forward proposals on protecting the intellectual property rights (IPR) and increasing Chinese investment in the US.
Hu delivered a speech after listening to the US business representatives' views. He said that he and President Obama met jointly with the entrepreneurs of China and the US and attended the welcome luncheon hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce, the US-China Business Council and other American friendship organizations during his state visit to the US in January this year. He was deeply impressed by the innovative spirit, entrepreneurship, global vision and positive attitude towards developing China-US relations of the US business community.
He pointed out that currently unstable and uncertain factors of world economic recovery are on the rise and hence the international community should stand together firmly and seek win-win cooperation. China-US economic and trade relations face both challenges and important development opportunities. First, opportunities are created by the economic restructuring of both countries. China's next five-year economic and social development plan sets the expansion of domestic demand as the main objective of accelerating the transformation of economic growth mode and massive consumption and investment demands will emerge in the process of industrialization, urbanization and agricultural modernization. China's total import within the next five years is expected to exceed 8 trillion US dollars and consumer goods market will be close to 5 trillion US dollars by 2015, which will provide a huge market for the US to rejuvenate its manufacturing industry and achieve the Export Initiative objective. Early relaxation of control over high-tech export to China by the US will not only ease the trade imbalance between China and the US but also boost the US economy and employment. Second, opportunities are created by the rapid growth of Chinese investment in the US. We welcome the US companies to increase investment in China and agree to expand two-way investment. Chinese businesses' investment in the US not only speeds up their own growth but also makes contributions to the US economy and job creation. We admire the positive attitude of the American government towards investment from Chinese companies and hope the American side takes more concrete actions. Third, opportunities are created by the new growth points of bilateral economic and trade cooperation. China and the US have strong needs and enormous complementarities to cooperate in the fields of new energy, clean energy, energy efficiency and emission reduction, biomedicine, aerospace and infrastructure construction. If the potential in those areas is tapped, the prospects for China-US economic and trade relations will be even more unlimited. Fourth, opportunities are created by the in-depth progress of local cooperation between China and the US. Local cooperation between the two countries is vigorous. Over the past 10 years, there were 47 American states whose exports to China increased by 3 digits. This year, the two countries launched the forum of province and state governors and have held two rounds of dialogue which, with exciting results, has effectively promoted the bilateral cooperation on trade, investment and tourism at local levels.
He said that it is totally possible for China-US trade volume to exceed 500 billion US dollars in the next 3 or 4 years based on the current level and growth rate. Chinese and American companies will compete in the process of cooperation, which is a normal phenomenon of free trade and market economy. Healthy and fair competition can fundamentally push the business communities of both countries to grow together. The two sides should stick to equal consultations and follow market rules and the WTO rules to properly handle frictions. They should neither politicize economic and trade issues nor engage in protectionism.
He noted that China will embrace the 10th anniversary of accession to the WTO next month. Over the past 10 years, China completely fulfilled its commitment to the WTO, liberalized access to foreign trade operation, significantly reduced the threshold of foreign investment, cut the total tariff level from 15.3% to 9.8% which is far lower than the average of developing countries and opened 100 sectors to service trade which is close to the level of developed countries. China will unswervingly push forward reform and opening up, firmly implement the mutually beneficial and win-win strategy of opening up and, as always, provide a sound investment environment for all the foreign companies, including the American ones.
He stressed that China is resolutely determined to strengthen IPR protection. It has established relatively complete IPR legal system and will focus on law enforcement in the future. China's special campaign of fighting against IPR infringement and production and sale of counterfeited goods has achieved positive results. It is willing to strengthen dialogue and exchanges with the US to jointly enhance IPR protection.
He emphasized that businesses are the main players of China-US economic and trade cooperation. He hopes the business communities of both sides seize opportunities, keep forging ahead and make their cooperation more productive.
Representatives of the US Chamber of Commerce, Dow Chemical, Federal Express, Wal-Mart Group, JP Morgan Chase, Johnson & Johnson Group, etc. participated in the meeting.
Dai Bingguo was also present at the meeting.