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"Go Global" Investment Strategy Needed for Chinese Enterprises

At the first China Investment and Trade Fair held in the new century, the Chinese Government officially announced the launch of a two-way investment strategy in a prelude to all-around integration into the global economy.

China will encourage competitive enterprises to "go global" by investing abroad, said Chinese Vice Premier Wu Bangguo in an address at the opening ceremony of the 2001 Investment and Trade Fair in this port city of Xiamen in southeast China's Fujian Province on September 8.

Wu pointed out that the outbound investment strategy will be integrated with the continuous effort to promote foreign capital inflow to boost China's overall involvement in the global economic cooperation.

Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC) and the State Economic and Trade Commission took various occasions at the ongoing fair to publicize the new strategy to international participants.

They said that it is an important decision made by the Chinese Government in order to meet the demands of international and domestic situations as well as the condition of China's economic development.

The two-way investment promotion strategy is a must-be solution that China should make to adjust its economy in line with the trends of economic globalization, accelerated restructuring of the global economy, quick changes in technological upgrading and an intensified round of international competition, agreed Chinese economic experts at the fair.

The strategy will make full use of opportunities brought by China's anticipated accession into the World Trade Organization (WTO), the economists here said.

At the fair, government officials and businessmen conducted 12 bilateral investment policy and environment seminars with trade and investment representatives from some 30 countries and regions in the world.

Sources with the meetings reported that as China has become a greater economic power and comprehensive national might, a batch of industry leaders with international brand competitiveness have emerged from the light industry, textile, household appliance and machinery sectors.

These companies are able to go into the global market to secure broader space for structural adjustment and optimal allocation of resources.

Some Chinese companies already have some experience at exploring foreign markets in Asian, African and Latin American countries and regions. By the end of June this year, Chinese companies had set up 6,439 firms in some 160 countries and regions.

Contractual investment in the projects amounted to 11.6 billion U.S. dollars with the Chinese side agreeing to fund 7.7 billion U.S. dollars.

China's investment projects abroad cover a broad range of areas, such as trade, natural resource exploration, industrial processing, transportation, labor service contracts, research and development, and agriculture.

At the seminars, officials from countries in the European Union, such as Britain and Germany, member countries of the Arab League, Chile, Cuba, Vietnam, 15 African countries and the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions introduced their respective investment environments and extended welcomes to Chinese investors.

Fawaz Al Nahar, acting director for the promotion department of the Jordan Investment Board, told the press here that Jordan sent a 25-member delegation to the fair and is eager to discuss bilateral cooperation with China.

Nahar said that he understands that some delegations from other Arab League countries have similar wishes to cooperate with China.

A representative from the Nigerian delegation said that China's technology, development experience and managerial mode may be suitable for African countries, which belong to the same category of developing countries as China.

An official from the British-China Trade Council commented that China's "going global" strategy issued ahead of its WTO entry is right on time. The economies of China and countries in the European Union are very much mutually complementary, which means that mutual investment would be mutually beneficial.

Steve Van Andel, chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said from a long-term development point of view, no economy can develop relying on a unilateral market. It must go global.

(People's Daily 09/12/2001)

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