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Talks can help stimulate global economy, Wall Street exec says

By Chen Jia (China Daily)

Updated: 2015-09-22 06:49:02


A top Wall Street business executive says he expects historic opportunities to arise for stimulating the world economy when Chinese and US top leaders meet in Washington this week.

The two nations are renewing efforts to reach a broader consensus on market access for bilateral investment, marking a milestone in the two countries' diplomacy, said Goldman Sachs Vice-Chairman Mark Schwartz, who also is chairman of Goldman Sachs Asia-Pacific.

"There are so many ways that the two countries can work more closely, especially on economic issues including trade and direct foreign investment," he added.

Schwartz said he hopes that President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Barack Obama might give priority to the Bilateral Investment Treaty on their dialogue agenda, given that both sides are committed to making progress, especially in narrowing down the "negative list" that charts areas and industries to which foreign investment does not have access.

"The negotiation is entering a very crucial stage, a difficult and very challenging stage, where both countries will have to make concessions.

"There is not so much time left in the administration of President Obama's term, which has more than a year left, so this meeting is critically important."

Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang earlier confirmed that negotiations on the China-US BIT will make up most of the two leaders' discussions.

Since the United States and China are the world's top two economies, Schwartz said, achievement on BIT will turn into meaningful economic growth in both countries and for the whole world, especially amid the persistent slowdown of the global economic recovery after the 2008 financial crisis and the recent turbulence in the commodities and equities markets.

Commenting on the slowdown of the Chinese economy, Schwartz said he believes this is a reasonable result as the growth pattern is entering a transition phase from being export-and investment-driven to being service-and consumption-oriented.

"In order to create a more stable economic foundation for higher-quality and sustainable growth, a slower rate is not only acceptable but also desirable. The reform is complicated, but it is a right plan," he added.

"What's important is that the Chinese government sticks to the plan, and if they do, China will be hugely important politically, commercially, economically, and culturally over the next several decades. There will be nothing but good outcomes to China and for the rest of the world as well."