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‘New normal’ good for business, says Premier

ZHAO YINAN
Updated: Mar 24,2015 10:29 AM     China Daily

Investment from abroad crucial for the nation’s efforts to move up value chain

The “new normal” of the Chinese economy will create a more favorable business environment for foreign companies, Premier Li Keqiang said on March 23.

Li made the remarks at a meeting in Beijing with the participants of the China Development Forum 2015, including leaders from businesses and international organizations as well as foreign experts.

The Premier said foreign investment has a crucial role to play, especially in the services and manufacturing sectors, in aiding China’s efforts to move up the value chain amid the “new normal”-a phrase introduced by President Xi Jinping to describe slower growth, but of better quality.

Structural adjustments are necessary as the economy upgrades, but the door will only open wider for foreign investment, Li said.

Premier Li Keqiang meets Christine Lagarde, president of the International Monetary Fund, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 23, 2015.[Photo by FENG YONGBIN/CHINA DAILY]

“As China is transforming into a service-led economy and the domestic service businesses lack experience, foreign capital has a big role to play in that regard,” Li said, adding “it is the same case in the manufacturing sector as our need for high-end technologies and products is growing.”

Opportunities also exist in exploring new markets, Li said. “When I was in Central and Eastern Europe recently, several nations expressed interest and willingness to upgrade their outdated railway transport systems. This is a process in which both Chinese equipment and Western technologies are needed.”

Li said he and Kazakhstan Prime Minister Karim Massimov had agreed on a draft list of industrial cooperation worth $18 billion during his visit to the Central Asian country in December, including the export of flat glass and cement. Both of these sectors are facing an over-supply situation in China and exports of the products to the resource-rich Central Asian country would help it achieve a better balanced industrial structure.

Jean-Pascal Tricoire, president and chief executive officer of Schneider Electric who hosted the meeting, said although the “new normal” of the Chinese economy is the main discussion point at the China Development Forum 2015, it is natural that the discussions tend to be more on the “new normal” of the world economy as people have realized that the “new normal” in China has a significant impact on global trends.

Daniel Kirchert, president of Dongfeng Infiniti Motor Co Ltd who is attending the CDF, said the idea of the new normal that the Chinese government proposed last year, as well as the transformation from an investment-driven to an innovation-driven economy that is behind that idea, is correct.

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