BEIJING – China said on Tuesday it will relax barriers to market access, especially in the financial sector, and create a more open and fair system for investment by foreign companies in response to concerns expressed by the American Chamber of Commerce in China.
The Chamber presented the findings of the 2017 Business Climate Survey in Beijing on Tuesday, which expressed worries by US companies in China over unequal opportunities, regulatory uncertainties and restrictions on market access.
Fifty-four percent of the US firms doubt China will open its markets to foreign investment in the next three years as promised by the government.
“The gate of open reform will be wider. We will never close it. We will continue to give way to the markets and oppose monopoly, promote competition, relax our market access, especially in the finance sector,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press conference.
Hua added that China will “continue to create a more open, fair and foreseeable operating environment” in a possible reference to the US, which could impose new tariffs on Chinese imports if trade tensions between the two countries intensify.
The spokesperson emphasized the role of the Chinese middle class, which includes around 400 million people who, she said, offer “great potential” for any foreign company with vision.
Earlier Tuesday, the American Chamber of Commerce in China expressed the concerns of US companies about the lack of clarity of the laws in the country and explained that, according to its latest survey, 75 percent of them feel that foreign businesses are now less welcome than ever in China.
Sixty-three percent of the companies surveyed by the Chamber are planning to cut investment in China in 2018 with respect to 2017.
Out of them, 25 percent will do so due to rising costs, including labor costs, 22 percent owing to the forecast that China will grow at a slower rate, 15 percent owing to the uncertainty of its laws and 12 percent on account of the barriers to market access.