Vice Premier Wang Qishan’s Speech at the 2008 International Investment Forum
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,
It is a great pleasure to attend the International Investment Forum2008 in Xiamen. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese government, I would liketo warmly welcome all the guests coming from afar. As the global economy andthe financial sector face various challenges against the backdrop of deepenedglobalization, an in-depth discussion centering on the theme of “Strengthening InternationalInvestment Cooperation and Promoting Global Economic Development” becomes both relevantand forward-looking.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of China’s reform and openingup. During these 30 years, China has successfully accomplished the greathistoric transformation from a planned economy into a socialist market economy,and from being a closed or semi-closed country to a country open in everydimension. Remarkable achievements have been made in social and economicspheres. The country has leaped to be the world’s 4th largest economy and 3rdlargest trading power. Its people are living a moderately prosperous lifeoverall. Since its accession to the WTO, in particular, China has entered a newstage of all-round opening up. Opening-up, either in terms its breadth, depthor quality, has been driven at a pace never seen before. China is so muchintegrated into the global economy that it has become an inalienable part ofit. Reform and opening-up have not only promoted China’s economic development,institutional innovation and social progress, but also contributed to world’seconomic prosperity and stability.
Nevertheless, we are acutely aware that China is still in the earlystage of socialism and will remain so for a long time to come. There is still along way to go before we achieve modernization. With the acceleratedindustrialization and urbanization, expedited systematic and institutional transformationand deepened reform and opening-up, China is not only facing development opportunities,but also many difficulties and challenges. We will follow the roadmap laid downin the 17th National Congress of CPC, stick to the path of socialism withChinese characteristics, apply the scientific outlook on development, transformthe mode of economic growth from extensive to intensive, and balance growthspeed with economic structure, quality and efficiency, so as to achieve a soundand rapid development of the national economy.
Since the beginning of this year, the Chinese economy has weatheredsevere challenges and tests. Domestically, there were catastrophic naturaldisasters such as the rarely-seen snow and ice storms and the massive Wenchuanearthquake. Externally, there are negative factors such as the global economicslowdown, mounting global inflationary pressure and world-wide financial marketturbulences. Against such complicated domestic and foreign backdrops, we havetaken a set of timely countermeasures, thanks to which the national economy isstill on track to achieve the macroeconomic targets, while the overall economyremains healthy. In the first half of this year, China’s GDP was up by 10.4%year on year, while consumption, investment and export growth moved towards amore balanced direction. We are both confident and capable of overcoming the presentdifficulties and challenges, keeping the steady and rapid development of thenational economy, and realizing the goal of reining in price surges. Ladies andgentlemen, friends,
With the deepening of reform and opening up, foreign investment haspicked up pace and gained size flowing into China, bringing along a great dealof capital, advanced technology and managerial expertise. FDI has become animportant drive for the Chinese economy. The scale and quality of FDI haveconstantly improved. China has attracted the largest amount of FDI among developingcountries in the past 16 years in a row. Many multinational companies considerChina as their first choice when it comes to making investment decisions.Foreign investment is also seen in more and more fields, covering almost allsectors, ranging from agriculture, manufacturing to services. The ways of usingforeign investment has shifted from such direct investment as greenfield investmentto more complex forms like equity participation, M&A and securitiesissuance. Meanwhile, Chinese enterprises have accelerated their pace of “goingglobal”.
China will continue to follow unswervingly the state policy ofopening up, constantly improve its policy measures on FDI inflow and outboundinvestment, and create broader space for the development of foreign businessesin China.
First, paying greater attention to improving the investmentenvironment. We will accelerate the building of a service-oriented government,exercise administration according to law and through services, and improveadministrative efficiency and service quality. The modern market system will befurther perfected, with a strengthened legal framework and IPR protectionregime so as to create a fair market environment, an open and transparent legalenvironment and a stable and predictable policy environment for investors. Inrecent years, the measures adopted by the Chinese government include a uniformcorporate income tax system for both domestic and foreign enterprises,intensified environmental protection, promulgation and implementation of theLabor Contract Law and Anti-Monopoly Law. All these are conducive to promotingfair competition among enterprises and enhancing their competitiveness forsustainable development.
Second, endeavoring to improve the quality of FDI utilization. Therole of FDI in promoting independent innovation, industrial upgrading andcoordinated regional development will be given full play, and the industrialstructure and regional distribution of FDI utilization will be optimized. FDIwill be encouraged to flow into high-tech industry, modern agriculture,energy-saving and environmental-friendly industry, modern services and serviceoutsourcing businesses. High-end manufacturing and R&D will be encouragedin China. FDI will be guided to contribute to the revitalization of oldindustrial bases in areas like Northeast China, and to the development ofcentral and western regions. Meanwhile, industries with high energy consumptionand high pollution will be tightly restricted from shifting into China.
Third, constantly innovating in the ways of FDI utilization. On thebasis of improving FDI policy and regulatory regime, foreign investors will beencouraged to take part in the reorganization and transformation of state-ownedenterprises (SOEs) in various forms. We will encourage foreign investors to establishventure investment enterprises and perfect the venture investment exit mechanism.Multinational corporations will be encouraged to accelerate localization,establish regional headquarters, R&D centers, sourcing centers, logisticcenters and operational centers in China, and cooperate more closely withChinese supporting enterprises on personnel training, process management andmarket exploration.
Fourth, strengthening corporate social responsibility. Throughintensified guidance and regulation, we will draw the attention of allenterprises, including foreign-funded ones, on improving working conditions,ensuring workers’ rights, adopting advanced energy-saving and environmental-friendlytechnologies, saving energy and resources and protecting the ecological environmenton a voluntary basis. Meanwhile, we encourage their involvement in socialwelfare undertakings like disaster relief and social assistance programs so asto promote the harmonious and stable development of the society.
Fifth, actively supporting competent domestic enterprises to goglobal. Thanks to years of efforts, some Chinese enterprises have been equippedwith the capability and conditions to invest in certain sectors in othercountries. We encourage competent enterprises to make direct investment overseas,engage in cross-border operation, and direct enterprises to develop processingtrade, support them to conduct international operations in R&D, manufacturingand marketing, and foster multinational companies and well-known brands withChinese origin. We welcome enterprises from all the other countries tocooperate with their Chinese counterparts and jointly explore the internationalmarket.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends,
The Chinese government has always been committed to trade andinvestment liberalization and facilitation, and opposes any form ofprotectionism. We are ready to join hands with other countries to follow thetrend of globalization, remove trade and investment barriers, addressdifficulties and challenges, thus contributing to world economic prosperity andstability.
Many guests present at the Forum are old friends of China, who, aswitnesses of China’s history of reform and opening up, have been devoted to theexchanges and cooperation between China and other countries over the years. Ihope every one can make full use of this platform, strengthen communication andunderstanding, reach more consensus and yield more results so as to make more contributionto international investment cooperation and world economic prosperity.
I wish the International Investment Forum 2008 a complete success!Thank you.