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AmCham-China 2001 White Paper on American Business in China

AmCham-China (The American Chamber of Commerce of the People's Republic of China) lately published its 2001 White Paper on American Business in China, according to which, in the past one year, the United States and China intensified their economic and trade relationship. China continued its ongoing process of economic reform with keen determination, moving further toward the goal of a rules-based market economy integrated with the global economy, which takes laws and regulations as its foundation. At a time of China's WTO entry, U.S. businesses have stronger confidence in the development of Sino-US relationship and are optimistic about their China operations

The white paper says statistics of a membership questionnaire conducted by AmCham-China last year show that 91 percent of 160 respondents said they were optimistic about their business outlook for the next five years. AmCham-China members anticipate reduced tariffs, better distribution channels, more impartiality, objective tendering practices, stronger legal protection of intellectual property, improved ownership structures, and more international-standard accounting and business practices in China.

The white paper pointed out that China's WTO accession will benefit China because it will help reform China's environment for trade and investment, improve the quality and reduce the cost of goods and services, spur investment, create new job opportunities and promote the rule of law. China's entering the WTO will benefit foreign enterprises in China.

The White Paper says China is one of the most important export markets for US hi-tech products and services. Since 1994, the US hi-tech product exports to China have surged 125 percent, reporting the fastest growth among the export products of the country. In 1998, the US hi-tech exports to China amounted to US$3 billion. China's telecom, computer and semiconductor market probably will bring about huge business opportunities for American companies. Experts estimate that US satellite and related facilities exports to China may hit US$3 billion or even more in the coming ten years.

The white paper criticized the US government for its strict export control on hi-technology. It says that among China's major trading partners, the United States keeps a most restrictive export control policy. To further restrain its firms' export of dual-use technology to China will only force U.S. companies to cede their playing field to other nations. The paper emphasized that the US and China have a strong mutual interest in reducing the barriers to U.S. high-technology exports to China; China's accession to the WTO demands a fresh look at the U.S. government's export control policy toward China.

The white paper also gives many constructive suggestions on a further improvement of the commercial, social and legal environment for US businesses in China as well as a detailed reform of Chinese industries.

(People’s Daily 04/30/2001)

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