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The United States and China should work together more on bilateral investments to help strengthen the world economy as it experiences unforeseeable fluctuations. That was the message from a group of business leaders at a special edition of the New York Forum held in Manhattan on Tuesday.
Experts said that the US should further encourage Chinese investment to invigorate the US economy and help create jobs.
"There are many things we can do together. Why should we concentrate on the renminbi issue or the trade deficit and surplus issue?" Li Ruogu, chairman of Export-Import Bank of China, said at a panel during the forum.
Chinese direct investment in the US dipped to $69 million in the fourth quarter of last year, dragging the full-year figure down to $4.5 billion, according to Rhodium Group, a New York-based research firm.
That number is a slight drop from the previous year's $5.2 billion and significantly lower than figures for Europe, where Chinese investment surged to a record high of almost $10 billion.
"China's FDI in the US is minimal," said Wang Boming, chairman of SEEC Media Group and editor-in-chief of Caijing magazine.
"(China's investment in the US) is behind Germany, Italy, and France, and now the investment is going to Latin America countries such as Colombia and Brazil," Wang said.
Li said the US and China are becoming more interdependent and there is great potential for cooperation.
"I don't think the US can have a right Asia policy without China," he added.
Li is also leading a delegation of 20 Chinese CEOs who are looking at investment opportunities in the US.
The delegation, Li told China Daily, met officials from the New York Port Authority, as well as city and state officials, for discussions and reached agreements on a series of projects.
"We have entered discussions on specific projects, including some infrastructure and real-estate projects in New York City, providing loans to US companies for these projects," Li said
"The investment - mostly in infrastructure - is also being made in Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, Nevada, and California - with some complete projects and some ongoing ones," Li added.
Li said the projects are worth "more than a couple of billion", without elaborating.
Patrick Prevost, CEO of Boston-based Cabot Corp, a global specialty chemicals and performance materials company, said the investment should be two-way, adding that China's growing economy provides a good opportunity for US investment in the China market.
Prevost, whose company has operated in China for more than 20 years, said US companies should embrace more opportunities in China instead of seeing the nation's growing economy as a threat.
"We are doing more investments in China and, because we have investments in China, we are actually creating jobs in the US," said Prevost.
Richard Attias, founder of the New York Forum and former producer for the World Economic Forum in Davos, said Chinese CEOs' participation in the event was vital.
"The global economy cannot and will not recover without this strong partnership of China and the US," he said.