Premier Li meets heads of leading global companies
Premier Li Keqiang said China is confident of keeping its annual growth rate around 7percent for a fair period of time by persisting with its reform and opening-up and tapping itshuge potential.
While meeting with international business leaders on Tuesday, Li said conditions still exist forChina to sustain its growth at a “medium-to-high level” despite the economy’s currentslowdown.
Li said he drew his confidence from the fact that large areas are yet to be developed incentral and western China, reflecting the gap between the relatively industrialized coastalareas and those regions.
“If the Chinese economy could expand at around 7 percent this year, it would translate intoan incremental volume of about $800 billion,” he said.
The premier made the remarks when meeting with members of the Global CEO Council inBeijing. The council, an organization set up in 2013 by the Chinese People’s Association forFriendship with Foreign Countries, includes 14 global corporate leaders from themanufacturing, natural resources, energy, machinery, agriculture, finance, banking,pharmaceutical, aviation, engineering, logistics and information technology sectors.
Li admitted there will be “twists and turns” as foreign companies try to expand business inChina, but he said China’s opening-up into a better-integrated global economy will not beheld back.
Foreign-invested companies in China should be one of the powers maintaining the medium-to-high growth of the Chinese economy, Li said. Additionally, in a bid to attract more foreigninvestors, the Chinese government will further open market access, provide better financialservices and step up intellectual property rights protection, Li said.
“Sectors in high-end manufacturing and the service industry in particular will be openedwider to foreigners,” he said.
Klaus Kleinfeld, chairman and chief executive of Alcoa, the largest US producer of aluminum,said he looked forward to China’s push to upgrade its economy. He added that he believedthere are tremendous opportunities for his company to cooperate with China in automotivesand aerospace, which are seeing increasing demand for lightweight metal and materials.
“Premier Li is a very distinguished economist and he has very valid views … And I think it isdecently well understood that the current administration wants to change the pattern in Chinato have a more consumption- and innovation-driven and more value-added economy,” hesaid.
Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive of US investment bank Goldman SachsGroup, said he anticipated further liberalization of the Chinese economy.
“Every day I wake up to another announcement about another liberalizing move. I think it isimportant for China to do so,” he said.
Blankfein said that the idea of economic cycles, which China is not immune to, should betaken into consideration.
“China has achieved a very high growth rate at some cost … so growth has to be absorbed,mistakes have to be corrected and bad investments have to be written off in order to haveanother stage of rapid growth,” he said.