The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) Photo: VCG
Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao met with Apple CEO Tim Cook in Beijing on Monday, extending a welcome to foreign businesses to invest in China, and promising a better, more transparent and improved business environment.
Cook was the 11th global executive to have met with Chinese officials since Thursday. Half of those executives were from the US.
Chinese officials’ meetings with foreign representatives have sent a clear signal on China’s unswerving commitment to opening-up, and is testimony to China’s increasing role as a magnet for foreign investors. Beijing’s concrete welcoming gesture is also a divergence from Washington, which has spared no effort to suppress Chinese companies in the US, even at the cost of sinking its own national reputation, experts said.
Wang said China will unswervingly promote high-level opening-up, and steadily expand institutional opening-up with regard to rules, regulations, management and standards. China is willing to provide a good and stable business environment for foreign companies, including Apple, to invest and operate in the country, according to the official website of the Ministry of Commerce.
Other US executives included Corning Inc CEO Wendell P Weeks, Procter & Gamble CEO Jon Moeller, US-China Business Council president Craig Allen, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla and Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon.
During his meetings with foreign business executives, Wang expressed his willingness to provide a good environment and services for companies from all over the world to develop in China.
China’s economic contributions to the world are expected to rank No.1 in the world this year, so it is natural for global executives to fly to one of the world’s fastest-growing markets and scale up investment, Tian Yun, former vice director of the Beijing Economic Operation Association, told the Global Times on Monday.
“In terms of cost controls, China – with controllable inflation – also offers the ideal option for global companies to manufacture price-competitive products,” Tian noted.
China has been committed to optimizing the business environment and creating convenient conditions for investors in recent years. For example, during the COVID-19 epidemic, the Chinese government established a special team to help foreign companies solve difficulties in raw materials and labor in a timely manner.
These efforts have been welcomed by foreign companies.
According to a survey by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, foreign-funded enterprises were generally satisfied with China’s business environment in the fourth quarter of 2022 – 90.2 percent were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with conditions for renting business space and paying taxes.
Zheng Shanjie, the newly designated chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planner, stressed that China welcomes foreign investment and is willing to share its development achievements.
“Walking with China means communicating with opportunities, investing in China means investing in the future,” Zheng said at the CDF on Sunday.
China continues to adopt a welcoming gesture to foreign investors and treats them on an equal footing, a further draw for global firms.
Observers said that it is in stark contrast to the US, which has been plotting a “political witch hunt” against companies with a Chinese background, ranging from TikTok to Huawei.
The US Congressional hearing on TikTok was politically manipulated to cover its real purpose of robbing the profits of the firm from China, which reflects mounting US hegemony and bullying of firms with a Chinese background, experts said.
Mao Ning, the spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry, on Monday blasted US’ presumption of guilt against TikTok without any proof.
“Technical problems should be resolved in a professional way. Unreasonable crackdowns on others will not make the US stronger,” Mao said.