On the evening of July 20th, 2020, Ning Jizhe, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) held a video symposium with Craig Allen, President of the US-China Business Council and representatives of its member companies, exchanging views on issues of mutual concern, including China-US economic and trade cooperation, China’s further opening up, and China’s macro-economic situation. Representatives from ADM, Cisco, Exxon Mobil, FedEx, Warner Bros., Xcoal, General Motors, and PepsiCo attended the conference.
In his speech, Ning Jizhe pointed out that the China-US relations and bilateral economic and trade cooperation are at a critical stage, facing both challenges and opportunities. Strengthening cooperation and achieving a win-win result is in the common interests of both sides. China’s foreign policy on the US is consistent and clear. We are committed to developing a China-US relationship featuring non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation. In the meantime, we firmly uphold our sovereignty, security, and development interests. We hope the US will work with China in the same direction to manage differences and expand cooperation, and jointly move forward China-US relations featuring coordination, cooperation, and stability.
Ning Jizhe noted, after 13 rounds of high-level consultations, China and US finally reached the phase-one economic and trade agreement in January this year, which reflects the mutually beneficial and win-win nature of China-US economic and trade cooperation. Since the signing of the agreement, relevant Chinese departments have done a lot of work to promote its implementation. With great efforts, positive progress has been made in expanding imports from the U.S. At the same time, due to the outbreak of Covid-19 epidemic, weak market supply and demand, and influenced by US export control on certain products, the import of some goods and services has been relatively slow. We hope enterprises from both sides can work together to overcome difficulties and further expand mutually beneficial cooperation.
Ning Jizhe pointed out, despite the huge impact brought by Covid-19 on transnational investment, China-US two-way investment still maintains a certain scale. This year, China continues to pursue further opening up and takes a series of measures, Foreign Investment Law and its implementing regulations came into effect, the 2020 negative list was issued, and the revision of the Catalogue of Industrial Guidance for Foreign Investment was initiated. Chinese market has huge potential, our business environment has been continuously improved, and our door will open wider to the outside world. We welcome American companies to expand investment in China, share our development opportunities, and achieve mutually beneficial cooperation.
The Covid-19 epidemic has a tremendous impact on the world and the Chinese economy. In the first quarter, China’s GDP declined by 6.8%. Facing the severe situation, under the strong leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, the Chinese government quickly and decisively adopted extraordinary measures to coordinate epidemic prevention and control and economic and social development, and effectively controlled the epidemic in a relatively short period of time. Now the recovery of regular life and work is speeding up, and economic indicators are gradually improving. China’s GDP grew by 3.2% year-on-year in the second quarter, an increase of 10 percentage points from the first quarter. Facing the severe challenge of the global spread of Covid-19, we are willing to work with governments, enterprises and people of all countries to strengthen cooperation to fight against the epidemic, and jointly deal with the challenges brought by the epidemic to the world economy.
Ning Jizhe noted, the US-China Business Council and its member companies have been doing business in China for many years and have actively participated in China’s reform and opening up. You have made important contributions to the development of China-US relations and the economic and trade cooperation, and have felt by yourselves the huge benefits brought to both sides by the cooperation. We hope that the US-China Business Council will continue to use your influence to create a good atmosphere for Chinese and US companies to carry out cooperation and for the implementation of the phase-one trade agreement to promote the development of bilateral economic and trade relations on the right track. We, as always, welcome American companies to invest and start businesses in China, and support the businesses of the two countries to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation. It is hoped that the US business community will seize the opportunities brought about by China’s booming economy and China’s wider opening-up, and strengthen cooperation with Chinese enterprises to pursue common development and achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.
Representatives of companies who attended the symposium said, the US business community attaches great importance to the Chinese market and is optimistic about China’s economic development. They welcome a series of reform and opening-up measures introduced by the Chinese government, and are willing to continue to take root in China and grow with China.
Representatives from the US side raised some specific questions on US companies’ operations in China, and Ning Jizhe answered these questions one by one.