As Prepared for Delivery
BEIJING – Good morning and thank you, Vice Premier Wang Yang for your remarks. On behalf of President Obama and all my U.S. colleagues, thank you for the warm welcome we have received in Beijing, and for our constructive discussions yesterday.
It is fitting that we begin today’s discussions with leaders from our respective business communities. After all, it is the businesses on both sides of the Pacific that drive commercial cooperation and provide new opportunities for workers in our two countries. Against the headwinds of lackluster global growth, trade and investment between the United States and China continue to thrive. Direct investment from China to the United States was the fastest-growing source of foreign direct investment in the United States in 2014. The total Chinese FDI stock in the United States stood at $10.2 billion in 2014, facilitated by the longstanding U.S. open investment policy.
We know Chinese firms are making valuable contributions to U.S. growth and employment and we encourage them to continue to invest in U.S. communities.
Similarly, U.S. firms continue to make significant contributions to China’s economy, bringing with them valuable technologies, ideas, and technical expertise. This is evident in the range of sectors represented here today, including financial services, quality assurance, consumer goods, logistics, and metals manufacturing. Companies such as these help to improve the quality of life of people in both countries.
However, concerns about the business climate have grown in recent years, with foreign businesses confronting a more complex regulatory environment and questioning whether they are welcome in China.
Our two governments have a responsibility to foster conditions that facilitate continued and increased investment, trade, and commercial cooperation. This means enacting policies that encourage healthy competition, ensuring predictability and transparency in the policy-making and regulatory process, protecting intellectual property rights, and removing discriminatory investment barriers. These policies are vital as China seeks to build on its economic progress in recent decades.
I understand that one of the goals of China’s supply side structural reforms is to improve the quality of goods and services to meet the ever-more sophisticated demands of Chinese consumers. I can think of no better way than to open the door wider to foreign investment so that world-class American firms can bring their expertise and participate more deeply in China’s growth.
All of the companies represented here play a key role in strengthening the U.S.-China economic relationship. I understand you’ve already begun exchanging ideas amongst yourselves in the preceding 45 minutes, and I look forward to hearing your views on how to improve the business climate in both China and the United States and grow our cooperation.
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