Premier Li Keqiang said China will firmly support free trade and build a better market environment for foreign enterprises.
He made the remarks on March 20 while meeting with foreign attendees of the China Development Forum 2017 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Over 100 people, including leaders from Fortune 500 companies, academic experts, representatives of international organizations and media companies, attended the event.
HSBC Holdings PLC’s Chief Executive Officer Stuart Gulliver, former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, Apple CEO Tim Cook and others raised questions to Premier Li concerning topics ranging from free trade and market liberalization to the internet industry and innovative development.
Premier Li said China’s economy has shown signs of steady progress, with sustainable growth in quality and efficiency, acceleration of structural upgrades and transformation between old and new growth engines.
Based on the supply-side structural reform, China will stick to the innovation-driven development strategy, pushing the reform of streamlining administration and delegating power, to facilitate entrepreneurship and mass innovation, said the Premier.
Responding to the call of Internet Plus, new industries, business formats and development models are becoming new growth engines to boost China’s economic development, the Premier said, adding that the government will work on supervision and guidance to promote the healthy development of these emerging industries. China is willing to work with governments and companies from every country to realize mutual development.
The Premier said, as China is integrating with the global economy, the country will continue to promote free and convenient trade as well as investment. In the process of globalization, all countries need to use their own comparative advantage and negotiate disputes equally.
China will further open its market, he said, adding that foreign companies will have more access to various industries, including service, manufacturing and mining, and they will be encouraged to issue shares, bonds, or participate in state scientific projects and infrastructure construction.
Administration for foreign investment will be streamlined — 95 percent of new foreign invested companies will only need to file on record, instead of getting a government permit. “A fair environment will be created for foreign companies,” he said.
Premier Li also invited foreign companies to invest in China, especially central and western China, and expand cooperation with Chinese companies.
Foreign participants at the meeting said the Chinese government has made achievements in developing and transforming its economy, and contributed to globalization and climate change, in spite of the sluggish global economic recovery. They will pay close attention to China’s development strategy, support its economic transformation and take part in China’s reform and opening-up by expanding partnership.