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MOFCOM spokesman Shen Danyang comments on China and US to promote energetically negotiations on bilateral investment agreement

The fifth round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue was held in Washington from July 10th to 11th. To carry out the consensus reached in the June summit in California by Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama, the special representatives of the two leaders made deep discussions and exchanges. China side agreed to make substantative negotiations with US on bilateral investment agreement on the basis of national treatment of pre-accession and a statement on negative measures of administration. MOFCOM spokesman Shen Danyang’s comments are as follows:

Shen Danyang said that “pre-accession national treatment is that foreign business is accorded national treatment ahead of their business.”Statement on negative measures of administration refers to measures not in line with national treatment and most favored nation treatment. This is a new trend in the investment negotiations in the world and more than 77 countries around the world have adopted such approach. we agree to adopt this approach is to satisfy the needs of international investment development and be in line with the reform of the administrative approval system, which is beneficial to create a fair market for all kinds of companies, motivate their vigor and put forward the economy.

Shen Danyang said that China has positively involved in the regional economic cooperation in recent years and further integrated itself into world economy. According to a report from UNCTAD, China has become the third-largest economy around the world in terms of FDI by 2012. Therefore, it is really necessary for China to reach agreement on investment with other economies, including US in order to establish a law framework at a higher level, protect Chinese investors’ benefits and promote investment overseas.

Shen Danyang pointed it out that China-US enjoyed a good momentum for their bilateral relations at present with an extension of two-way investment in its scale as well as the coverage. By the end of last May, US direct investment in China reached 70 billion USD, while almost 20 billion USD flowed from China into US. A mutually beneficial investment agreement at a high level is in the interests of investors of both sides. Certainly, it is of great importance to carry out the deep and profound negotiations on the concrete terms that reflect the rights and obligations of both sides. China would like to work together with US and to advance the process of the negotiations in a positive and pragmatic way.

China and US started negotiations in 2008 and 9 rounds of negotiations have been made already, during which the preliminary discussions and technical consultatons on some core issues as well as issues of each side’s concerns were done.