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Opening-up wins praise of attendees at Summer Davos

By Hu Yuanyuan and Yang Yang in Dalian | China Daily Global | Updated: 2019-07-05 08:31

Efforts to boost investment climate will help Chinese and foreign companies, expert says

Business leaders and scholars attending the Summer Davos Forum are encouraged by the central government's efforts to promote opening-up and improve the investment environment, and believe they will benefit Chinese and foreign businesses alike.

Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday the country will become more open, transparent and predictable for foreign investment, and its business environment will improve further.

Li made the remarks when addressing the opening ceremony of the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2019, also known as the Summer Davos Forum, in the city of Dalian, Liaoning province.

"China will promote opening-up on all fronts," Li said.

China will remove caps on foreign ownership of brokerages, futures dealers and life insurers by 2020, a year ahead of the previous plan, as part of the efforts to open up financial and other modern service industries. The country will support foreign investment in industries such as electronic information, equipment manufacturing, medicine and new materials.

According to John Meacock, chief strategy officer of Deloitte Global, a company that provides audit services, there is a real desire among so many multinationals to do more in China, and they see China's initiatives to open up the economy and protect intellectual property as making it attractive for them to come in and do more.

"I think there has been huge improvements and strides made in IP protection. China being more open about the fact that it wants to protect IP and changing rules and regulations, that is actually being seen very positively by many multinational corporations, so I think it's a real positive we're starting to see," Meacock said.

Deloitte sees a big demand for professional services as more Chinese join the middle-income population, and regards China as a great growth market from a global perspective. This is particularly true now that international companies have observed China's achievements in protecting their IP rights, according to Meacock.

For Ding Yuan, vice-president and dean, China Europe International Business School, there were many encouraging points in the premier's speech.

"On the one hand, Premier Li emphasized the need to support not just large companies, but also to ensure that entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized companies receive fair treatment as well. On the other hand, I think we can look to the relaxation of barriers for foreign investment in areas such as manufacturing, finance and service sector, along with greater protection of industrial IP, as positive signs. These measures should offer both Chinese and foreign businesses greater comfort and confidence in China's development in the future," said Ding.

Tang Ning, founder and CEO of CreditEase, a business consulting firm, said: "We need to focus more on certain things, such as continuing to promote technology innovation and improving related fundamental framework, including data sharing and data governance. We need to provide an ecosystem to stimulate the technology innovation and help startups to grow."

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(China Daily Global 07/05/2019 page3)

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