Chinese government assures businesses on free trade commitment

Imports and Exports | | MIC Customs Solutions |

The Chinese government has met with representatives from a number of multinational businesses to offer assurances that the country remains committed to free trade, despite its current trade conflict with the US.

The Chinese government has reached out to the international business community to offer assurances that its current trade conflict with the US will not affect its overall commitment to free trade and improved market access.

Around 20 multinational executives - including representatives from companies such as Nokia, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, AstraZeneca, UPS and Goldman Sachs - met the Chinese president Xi Jinping and top officials in Beijing to discuss China's continued opposition to protectionism and support for globalization, reports the Financial Times.

This summit was considered necessary to assuage concerns about the continued accessibility of the Chinese market in the face of US president Donald Trump's aggressive trade stance against China, which has included the introduction of new tariffs on a range of Chinese imports.

Many multinational firms are wary of being impacted by the brewing trade conflict, with a few US executives declining to attend the Beijing meeting to avoid potential blowback. As such, the Chinese government is keen to reaffirm the idea that the country remains open for business.

In recent months, China has introduced a number of reforms of China's financial services industry that have long been sought by foreign businesses, including the relaxation of ownership caps for foreign investors in sectors such as insurance and securities.

President Xi said: "The great door of China's opening will not close, it will only get bigger and more open.

"China will continue to greatly ease market access, create a more attractive investment environment, strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights, voluntarily expand imports, and create a more relaxed and orderly environment for domestic and foreign entrepreneurs to invest in and start businesses."

This comes after the annual business confidence survey from the European Chamber of Commerce in Beijing revealed that 57 per cent of respondents would increase investments in China if there was a greater opening of the market.