China is ready to improve conditions for Japanese firms to invest in the country, Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan has said.
Speaking at the first China-Japan high-level economic dialogue on Saturday, Zeng said: "China and Japan share expanding mutual interests and new opportunities for cooperation under new historical conditions. We should create a new pattern of economic and trade cooperation, with emphasis both on commodities and services."
The meeting was co-chaired by Zeng and Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura. Premier Wen Jiabao and then Japanese Prime minister Shinzo Abe launched the China-Japan high-level economic dialogue in April.
Zeng said a slowdown in the growth rate of bilateral trade, unsatisfactory business environment, obstacles in technological cooperation and fluctuation in Japanese investment in China were the four main problems in Sino-Japanese economic ties.
China hopes Japan considers its concerns on its market economy status, trade conditions, export of high and new technologies and exchange of personnel, he said.
The vice-premier called for improved technological exchanges in energy-saving and environmental protection and working more closely on global and regional economic issues.
The dialogue is very important for building strategic ties at the economic level, said Komura, who is leading the Japanese delegation. "The practical talks will certainly be successful."
He, too, urged both sides to deepen cooperation in environmental protection, energy-saving and other fields.
National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Minister Ma Kai said the government would promote introduction of Japanese technologies through pilot projects in the country.
Japan is expected to offer energy-saving training to 300 Chinese officials in the next three years, Ma said, and 150 officials had already benefited from it, helping China stipulate relevant laws and regulations.
State Environmental Protection Administration Minister Zhou Shengxian said China would like to learn how to prevent water pollution from Japan. The two countries could even launch a model program to check water pollution in the Yangtze River.
The two sides, Zeng said, should increase investment in each other's countries, and cooperate in the fields of equipment manufacturing, information technology, logistics and hi-tech products.
They should hold more talks on product quality standards and protection of intellectual property rights to improve the trade and investment environment, he said.
"As the two biggest economies in Asia, China and Japan have great responsibility to maintain economic stability across the world and ensure prosperity in East Asia."
Such dialogues can help solve problems like China's market economy status and the limits imposed on some domestic firms' exports to Japan, said Zhang Xiaoji, an expert with the State Council's Development Research Center.
Jin Xide, a researcher with the Institute of Japanese Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, thinks the mechanism could play a major role in helping the two countries take bilateral economic ties to a higher level.
Japan is China's third largest trade partner and the second largest source of its foreign direct investment. And China is Japan's largest trade partner and one of Japan's fastest growing export markets.
(Xinhua News Agency December 3, 2007)