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Xi Jinping Has Discussions with Representatives of Chinese and Foreign Entrepreneurs Attending Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference

2013/04/08

On April 8, 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping had discussions with representatives of entrepreneurs from both home and abroad at the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2013 in Boao, south China's Hainan Province. He stressed that, with a bright prospect for its economy, China will stay committed to reform and opening-up, accelerate the transformation of its growth model, continue to create and provide better conditions for foreign enterprises, and make greater contributions to world development.

With 32 business leaders from both Chinese and foreign enterprises attending the meeting, Xi said that entrepreneurs are not only important forces in creating jobs and wealth and promoting development and cooperation but also major players in the forum. What they do will have important impacts on economic growth in Asia and the world as a whole. Xi said he would like to take advantage of the meeting to exchange ideas with them.

Then 6 representatives of Chinese and foreign entrepreneurs gave their presentations, introducing their investment and business operation in China. They all expressed their confidence in the deepening of China’s reform and had high expectations of China opening wider to the world. Convinced that the Chinese economy has great potential, they said their enterprises will grow together with China and help the Chinese people make their dream come true.

Zein Abdalla, president of PepsiCo, said he hopes the Chinese government can continue to open the country wider to the outside world, reform its administrative approval system, encourage foreign companies to invest in agricultural and eco-friendly industries, and create a fair environment for foreign-funded enterprises to compete in.

Andrew Forrest, chairman of Fortescue Metals, a major Australian iron ore producer, said that thanks to Chinese demand, his company has become one of the world's most successful in its field and that it will expand its investment in China and step up participation in the country's social development.

Dhanin Chearavanont, chairman and CEO of the Thailand-based Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group), urged China to further expand domestic demand to give a boost to its agriculture and service sectors and support the development of private businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprise.

Koji Miyahara, chairman of Japanese shipping giant Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, said Japanese businesses expect to see the growth of strategic and mutually beneficial relations between China and Japan and will work to promote bilateral trade cooperation.

Olof Persson, president and CEO of Sweden's Volvo Group, said his company supports China in carrying out its sustainable development strategy and hopes to play a positive role in promoting infrastructure construction and protecting the environment in China. It also hopes that the Chinese government can provide more guidance for foreign enterprises.

Wei Jiafu, chairman of China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO), called on all Asian entrepreneurs to pursue innovation internally while seeking cooperation externally, so as to promote sustained economic growth in Asia and the world.

After listening to the entrepreneurs’ presentations, President Xi made an important speech. Praising the inspiring discussions, he said that as the world economy is still faced with uncertainties and destabilizing factors, its recovery will be a long and tortuous process. However, growth in Asia is rather robust. Acknowledging that the prospect of China’s economy is of concern to all, he put forward his views.

Xi said that China's development is generally in good shape and the country will move upward for a long time to come. China is going through a period of heavy industrialization and urbanization, while the country's information industry is developing rapidly and agriculture is being modernized. All these developments will create great potential in the domestic market. In addition, the country enjoys a comprehensive advantage in production factors and its superstructure is constantly improving. China has set the goals of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the time the Communist Party of China (CPC) celebrates its centenary in 2021 and turning the nation into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious in time for the People's Republic of China to mark its centennial in 2049. It has also aimed at achieving the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Xi said that realizing those goals will inject vitality and strength to China’s economy. He is confident that with the joint efforts of its people, China will sustain relatively high economic growth. In addition, China will shift the focus of growth to its quality and efficiency, allocating more resources to green development, recycled development and low-carbon development.

Xi stressed that China's market environment is fair and that all companies registered in China are important components of China's economy. China will not waver in its commitment to building socialist market economy, continue to enhance the legal system and improve investment environment, so that all enterprises can enjoy equal access to factors of production, market competition and legal protection and China's market environment will be fairer and more attractive. China will not alter its policy on the utilization of foreign capital and will continue to protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign enterprises according to law.

Xi said that China will stay open to the outside world. In the past 10 years, China has fulfilled its commitments to the World Trade Organization, and its business environment has become more open and standardized. China will expand, deepen and widen its open economy. Pledging that China will keep its door open to foreign investors, he also called on foreign countries to be more open to Chinese investors. China firmly opposes all forms of protectionism, is ready to solve economic and trade differences with other countries through consultation, and promotes the establishment of a multilateral trade system featuring balance, win-win outcomes and development.

Xi reiterated that China's development is a win-win process that benefits the rest of the world. The benefits go first to its neighbors. In 2012, as many as 15.76 million Chinese people traveled to neighboring countries in east and southeast Asia, which constituted a real boost to the Asian economy. Over the next five years, China's imports will reach 10 trillion U.S. dollars and its outbound investment is expected to grow rapidly. In addition, China is vigorously promoting connectivity with neighboring countries. All these will contribute to regional as well as global economic growth.

In conclusion, Xi thanked the entrepreneurs for what they have done over time in promoting China’s development and cooperation with Asia and the world as a whole. The Chinese government will stick to reform and opening-up and improve its policies. China will constantly improve its services and create a more friendly environment for foreign investors. Xi urged foreign enterprises to seize the opportunities that are available in China and achieve greater development.

Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu and Yang Jiechi attended the meeting.

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