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Regular Press Conference of the Ministry of Commerce (December 23, 2016)

Dear friends from the media,

Good morning. Welcome to the press conference. I’ll brief you the situation of service outsourcing and that of business work in January-November, and answer your questions.

I. Service outsourcing situation in January-November and that in November

According to the statistics of the MOFCOM, in January-November 2016, the contract value of service outsourcing sighed by Chinese enterprises reached RMB836.09 billion (currencies are the same hereinafter) and the executed value reached RMB602.49 billion, with an increase of 1.5% and 17.3% respectively. Among these, the contract value of offshore service outsourcing was RMB552.7 billion and the executed value was RMB392.55 billion, with an increase of 17.1% and 15.2% respectively. In November, the contract value of offshore service outsourcing was RMB64.57 billion, with a decrease of 2.4%, and the executed value was RMB57.65 billion, with an increase of 25.5%. Some features are presented as follows:

1. The business scale of major contract awarding markets undertaken by China was steadily expanded. The United States, China Hong Kong, the EU, Japan and South Korea are the major contract awarding markets of sourcing undertaken by Chinese enterprises. In the previous eleven months, the executed value of offshore service outsourcing undertaken by China from the above countries and regions reached RMB271.17 billion, up 18.6%, accounting for 69.1% of the executed value of offshore outsourcing of China. Among these, China’s contract awarding businesses undertaken from the United States and the EU were RMB87.31 billion and RMB61.23 billion respectively, up 8% and 23.1% each. The United States is still the largest contract awarding country and the EU enjoys the status of the fastest development region among the major contract awarding markets.

2. The business process outsourcing continued to maintain a rapid development. In the previous eleven months, the executed value of ITO, BOP and KPO undertaken by Chinese enterprises reached RMB188.83 billion, RMB63.34 billion and RMB140.38 billion, with an increase of 11.9%, 32.4% and 13.3% respectively. Among these, professional service outsourcing such as data processing, supply chain management and financial accounting management were the major three fields promoting the increase of business process outsourcing.

3. The development situation of industries of newly-increased service outsourcing demonstration cities is favorable. In the previous eleven months, the executed value of offshore service outsourcing undertaken by 31 service outsourcing demonstration cities reached RMB366.05 billion, with an increase of 14.5%, accounting for 93.3% of the total amount of the whole country. Among these, the executed value of 10 newly-increased service outsourcing demonstration cities this year was RMB29.07 billion, with an increase of 27.1%, higher than the general increase of the whole country. The effects of the supportive policies of demonstration cities have started to come out.. Among the demonstration cities, the executed value of offshore outsourcing of four first-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen reached RMB108.77 billion, with an increase of 21.5%. Their business field transformed from the single cost-seeking-oriented outsourcing to the comprehensive technology-intensive solution outsourcing, and played an innovative and guiding role.

4. The service outsourcing cooperation with the relevant countries of the “Belt and Country” was smooth. In the previous eleven months, the executed value of service outsourcing undertaken form the relevant countries of the “Belt and Road” by Chinese enterprises was RMB64.99 billion, with an increase of 6.8%. Among these, the executed value of service outsourcing undertaken from the ASEAN reached RMB36.51 billion with an increase of 7.6%. In November, the executed value of service outsourcing undertaken from relevant countries of the “Belt and Road” was RMB12.47 billion, with an increase of 30% year on year.

II. The Construction of China-Portugal Commerce and Trade Cooperation Service Platform Makes Positive Progress

“Building China-Portuguese Speaking Countries Commerce and Trade Cooperation Service Platform” is an important definition endowed to Macao SAR by the Central Government in China’s overall development strategy. In 2003, the Central Government established the China-Portuguese Speaking Countries’ Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (hereinafter referred to as the China-Portugal Forum) in Macao and one of the goals was to support Macao in playing the platform role. In recent years, with the strong support of the Central Government, Macao has accelerated promoting the construction of the platform and made positive progress relying on the China-Portugal Forum. In October 2016, the 5th Ministerial Conference of China-Portugal Forum was successfully held in Macao (hereinafter referred to as the Ministerial Conference), injecting the construction of the platform with new strength.

1. The construction of the Macao platform increasingly benefits the middle and small-sized enterprises and the people. In recent years, the construction of the Macao platform relying on the China-Portugal Forum has won more and more market opportunities and international development opportunities for the local middle and small-sized enterprises. For example, the construction and investment in the fields such as public housing and leisure travel in the markets such as Mozambique and Cape Verde of Macao’s enterprises increased Macao’s influence in the local region. Macao’s enterprises positively promoted many agriculture and energy cooperation projects between the mainland, Macao and Portuguese-speaking countries. At the same time, more and more Macao’s citizens took part in the China-Portugal trade and economic cooperation and felt the development and opportunities brought by the construction of the Macao platform in person. For example, Macao’s local professional service organizations provided service for the trade and economic cooperation between the mainland and Portuguese-speaking countries and had successfully provided coordinated language services such as China-Portuguese translation, legal consultant and information collection for Zhoushan’s fishery project in East Timor and the infrastructure project in Guinea-Bissau.

2. The Macao society highly recognized the construction of the platform, and the international community spoke highly of the platform role. The construction of the platform gained high reorganization from the government and the society of Macao SAR. At the same time, the platform role of Macao also gained reorganization and appraisal of the international community. During the Ministerial Conference, Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa said that, Macao has become an important business and trade service platform with high value added between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries, and boasted an irreplaceable role. Ministers of other participating Portuguese-speaking countries said that the parties of the forum should make joint efforts to strengthen the mechanism construction of the forum, play the strategic platform role of Macao, promote mutual understanding, enrich cooperation contents and expand scale of trade and investment.

3. Achievements of the Ministerial Conference highlighted the platform role of Macao and bolstered the construction of the platform. The achievements of the Ministerial Conference included supporting Macao to play the platform role. The main contents include supporting Macao to forge the financial service platform between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries, constructing the service platform complex of business and trade between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries, establishing training bases for bilingual talents in Macao for China and the Portuguese-speaking countries and conducting cultural exchanges, promoting Macao to become the center of international registration, certification and trade of traditional medicine industry of the participating countries. Besides, the Federation of Entrepreneurs from China and Portuguese-speaking countries was established during the forum, and its secretariat was in Macao. The above important measures will benefit the development of many aspects of Macao, which will not only provide strong supports to the diversified development of Macao’s economy, but will also help promote the platform role and international influences of Macao.

In the future three years, the Ministry of Commerce will, according to the deployment of the Central Party Committee and the State Council and together with related departments, comprehensively implement the policies and measures announced at the conference, and continue to enrich and deepen the platform construction of Macao. Through multi-level and multi-field exchanges, the Macao people will have stronger sense of participation and achievement in the construction of the platform construction, and the achievements of the platform construction will benefit different classes of Macao society.

III. The Ministry of Commerce will issue The 13th Five-Year Plan for Foreign Trade Development and The Special 13th Five-Year Plan for Commerce and Trade Logistics Development

According to the deployment of the State Council, focused on comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society, led by new development concept, the Ministry of Commerce paid more attention to quality and efficiency, planned domestic and foreign situation as a whole, highlighted the interaction between trade and industry, domestic trade and foreign trade, investment and trade, and compiled and implemented the 13th Five-Year Plan for Commercial Development. 15 special plans in the fields of foreign trade, service trade, domestic trade circulation, e-commerce, market system construction of agricultural products and commerce and trade logistic development have been basically completed and issued successively. Two special plans about foreign trade and commercial logistics will be released soon.

About The 13th Five-Year Plan for Foreign Trade Development. To implement The 13th Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development of China and The 13th Five-Year Plan for Commercial Development, to promote foreign trade to adjust structure and transform powers towards high quality and good price, good import and good export, to consolidate the status of large trading countries and promote the process of building strong trading countries, the Ministry of Commerce, after drawing up The 13th Five-Year Plan for Foreign Trade (Draft), widely solicited opinions from related departments, financial organizations, chambers of commerce of import and export, local commercial departments, experts and scholars. The plan has been approved by the conference of department affairs of the Ministry of Commerce. It is composed of four parts including the deepening of The 12th Five-Year Plan for Foreign Trade and the reviewing of the situation of the 13th Five-Year Plan, guiding thoughts, development concepts and main goals, main tasks and supporting measures. It mainly shows five major development concepts like “innovation, coordination, green, open and sharing”, highlighting the requirements of deepening supply-side structural reform, and strengthening the policy orientation during the 13th Five-Year Plan of transforming development power, optimizing foreign trade structure and cultivating new competitive advantages.

About The Special 13th Five-Year Plan for Commerce and Trade Logistics Development. In order to implement the decisions and deployment of the Central Party Committee and the State Council on promoting supply-side structural reform and reducing cost of entity economy, and further promote the healthy development of China’s commercial and trade logistics, the Ministry of Commerce, on the basis of summarizing the development achievements of China’s commercial and trade logistics in the period of the 12th Five-Year Plan and analyzing the situation faced by the commercial and trade logistics in the period of 13th Five-Year Plan, and through studying, discussion and soliciting opinions together with related departments, compiled The Special 13th Five-Year Plan for Commerce and Trade Logistics Development themed on optimizing the system of commercial and trade logistics, promoting the level of commercial and trade logistics, reducing logistics cost and promoting logistics efficiency. The Plan has been approved by the conference of department affairs of the Ministry of Commerce. Combining the three strategies including “Belt and Road” construction, Jing-Jin-Ji coordinative development and Yangtze River Economic Zone development, the Plan proposed to place national and regional logistic nodes for commerce and trade, and construct a commercial and trade logistics system supported by logistics allocation centers, professional distribution centers and terminal distribution branches, which highlighted the general requirements of supply-side structural reform. Compared with The Special Plan for Commercial and Trade Logistics issued during the 12th Five-Year Plan, the Plan this time added 7 major projects including the construction of urban-rural logistics network, standardization of commercial and trade logistics, construction of platform for commercial and trade logistics, function promotion of logistics parks for commerce and trade, e-commerce logistics, innovative development of commercial and trade logistics and green development of commercial and trade logistics, which promotes the operability of the Plan.

After being officially published, the full texts of the above two special plans will be released on the website of the Ministry of Commerce. Then we will make further interpretations, please pay attention to it.

IV. Guideline on China’s Outward Investment and Cooperation in Countries (Region) 2016 released

Guideline on China’s Outward Investment and Cooperation in Countries (Region) 2016 was officially released yesterday. It’s a major public service product that MOFCOM provides for Chinese business. Since 2009, it has been updated every year and this has been the 8th revision so far. The guideline aims to provide information such as foreign political and economic situation, law policy, investment opportunity and potential risks for domestic enterprises who intend to conduct outward investment and cooperation.

The new version covers 171 countries and regions, each country with one volume, involving major markets that Chinese business has engaged in. To follow international and domestic situation changes, the new version supplements the contents such as currency swap agreements, capacity cooperation agreements, infrastructure cooperation agreements, free trade agreements and economic and industrial cooperation parks that Chinese enterprises invest overseas. It fully reflects the relevant countries’ regional economic situation, investment environment, business opportunity and operation risks. With the latest information, richer contents and stronger readability, it satisfies the multi-layered demands of Chinese investors and will play a positive role in helping Chinese business to grasp the environment changes of foreign countries and regions, make scientific decisions in investment and cooperation and effectively prevent ulterior risks.

V. National Commercial Work Conference 2016 to be held

The National Commercial Work Conference is scheduled to be held in Beijing on December 26-27, 2016. The conference aims to implement the spirits of the 18th CPC National Congress, the third, fourth, fifth and sixth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee and Central Economic Work Conference, summarize the progress on national commercial work made in 2016, unify both thought and action into central committee’s scientific judgment on domestic and international situation. Efforts will be made to seek steady progress, make supply-side structural reform the mainline, and deploy the major work in 2017. Attending will be representatives from the CPC Central Committee, the departments under the State Council, commercial departments of provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities, Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, cities with independent planning, subsidiary provincial capital cities, units and chambers of commerce directly under the Ministry of Commerce. Minister of Commerce and Secretary of the Party Leadership Group of MOFCOM Gao Hucheng will deliver a work report at the conference.

Phoenix Satellite TV: A recent report by Standard Chartered cites figures for the first ten months of the year and points out that China’s exports to the US have dropped for the first time since 2009 by 4.7%. It also expects further slide in Chinese exports to the US. What is your take on that? Besides, we’ve noted that US President-elect Trump has made a flurry of commerce-related comments against China, including the reshoring of manufacturing, which might have a direct impact on China. What is your outlook on the Sino-US commercial relations?

Shen Danyang: I’ll take on the second question first. There has been much media focus on the Sino-US trade and economic relations. I’d like to make a brief response with a few good old points.

First, the China-US commercial relations underpinned by interwoven interests are mutually beneficial and win-win. The two countries’ common interests will continue to outweigh their differences regardless of the change of administration in the US, which won’t change the status quo of bilateral economic complementarity and mutually beneficial trade or the shared wish of the business communities on the two sides to deepen cooperation.

Second, for Sino-American commercial relations, cooperation generates mutual benefits, whereas confrontation is lose-lose.

Third, we are consistently against blaming others for one’s own fault. It happened many times in the past, and might happen again in the future. We stand firmly against it.

Fourth, don’t do things that will hurt others without benefiting oneself. We saw many such instances in history. Some current views also reflect such thinking, which I’d advise against.

As for the decline in Chinese exports to the US, since this year, China’s trade with the US has fallen a bit because of the state of the world economy. That said, it is just a slight fall and almost negligible on a currency-adjusted basis. Besides, we need to see the positive side of Sino-US trade this year, which is improving trade mix and balance. From January to November, in USD terms, Chinese exports to the US stood at US$ 349.16 billion, down 6.6% year on year, which almost stayed put if measured in RMB. China ran a surplus of US$ 230 billion, down 4.3% on the previous year. China and the US enjoy great complementarity in natural endowments, human resources, markets, capital and technology. Commercial cooperation is in the interest of both countries, which is the fundamental driver of the fast-growing bilateral trade and economic relations in the past 30 plus years since diplomatic ties were established. Had China taken all the benefits from the cooperation while the US suffered losses, bilateral commercial relations wouldn’t have reached today’s level.

Though some hold that China’s exports to the US might decline further in the next few years, it’s premature and not well-grounded to say so. I want to emphasize one more point. Sino-US relations are more than bilateral trade. The two countries’ commercial relations have transformed as compared to the early days of the relations. Quality matters more than quantity. The scope of the cooperation has expanded from trade to almost all economic cooperation sectors. For example, our investment cooperation has been relatively smooth on the whole. This year, two-way trade has grown remarkably. From January to November, China utilized US$ 2.21 billion of US capital (US investment in China), up by 15.1%. Some people often comment on China’s investment environment, pointing to divestment of foreign investors. However, US investment in China was up by 15.1% this year up to November. Chinese companies invested US$ 18.63 billion in non-financial sectors in the US, up 159% year on year. China-US commercial cooperation owes today’s success to the mutually beneficial and win-win nature of such cooperation. So we believe that as the world economy recovers, China-US trade and investment cooperation will have a brighter future. We’d like to work with the US government to continuously move forward bilateral commercial relations and benefit both countries and peoples.

Thank you for your questions.

CCTV: It is heard that the Global Steel and Iron Forum launched its first meeting in Berlin, Germany on December 16th. How was the meeting going? Which agreement has been made? What kind of role has China played in this regard?

Shen Danyang: On the whole, the recently-closed meeting is a success. It is known to all that G20 called for information sharing and cooperation through the formation of a global forum on steel overcapacity in the Leaders’ Communiqué in Hangzhou Summit. The meeting held in Berlin is an important step to carry out the consensus reached at the Summit. More than 100 representatives from 33 economies including G20 members and interested OECD members attended the meeting.

China and Germany, who is the Rotating Presidency of G20 in 2017, co-chaired the meeting. I think it is productive in terms of officially endorsing the work duty of the Forum, determining the organization structure of the Forum and kicking off the process of cooperation under the Forum. The meeting also established China, Germany and the US as co-chairs of the Forum in 2017 and stated that the Forum is supported by the OECD and attended by G20 members and interested OECD members. This means the Forum has moved from formation to substantive work.

China’s active role in promoting the preparatory work on the Forum has a close bearing on the achievements the meeting has made. As early as on November 15th, China brought together G20 members and interested OECD members in the name of G20 Trade and Investment Working Group to a meeting to discuss the formation of the Forum where broad consensus were achieved, laying a solid foundation for the first meeting in Berlin and the establishment of the Forum. Down the road, China looks forward to increased information sharing and cooperation with other countries according to the Hangzhou Summit consensus and positive contribution to addressing global steel excess capacity. Thank you for your question.

CNR: Lately many Australian agencies have held celebrations to mark the first anniversary of the implementation of China-Australia FTA. It’s been also a year since the China-ROK FTA was implemented. Could you brief us on the overall results of the two FTAs over the past year? In what areas have China, Australia and South Korea gained benefits? Which products will be granted further tariff cut next year according to the FTAs?

Shen Danyang: Since China-ROK FTA and China-Australia FTA were implemented a year ago, industry and consumers have enjoyed broad benefits and bilateral trade has begun to rise. Since its entry into force, China-Australia FTA has achieved at least three notable results. First, the structure of commodity trade between China and Australia has been optimized. Trade figures do not represent a manifest growth in trade volume. However, the trade structure has shown signs of improvement. Export of China’s competitive products, mechanic and electronic ones in particular, bucked the trend with strong growth this year. In the first three quarters in 2016, export of engines and motors more than doubled with a spike by 143%, cranes and mobile lifting frames by 76% and toys, puzzles and models for amusement by nearly 30%. On the Australian side, some of its products were sold more on the Chinese market, mainly including quality agricultural products, healthcare products and other consumer goods. Healthcare products increased more than nine-fold, fresh fruits nearly doubled and wine increased by 33%, making China the largest exporter of Australian wine products for the first time. Importing prime agricultural goods from Australia is a win-win result. These goods have not only enriched China’s consumer market and offered more diverse choices for Chinese people but also expanded Australian export to China. In the first nine months this year, Australia exported less iron ore, copper ore and aluminum ore to China, which is inevitable against the backdrop of improvement of bilateral trade structure.

Second, trade in services has grown fast, especially in tourism, education and movement of natural persons, etc. From January to September, Chinese tourists crossing Australian borders had increased by 18.8% YOY and Chinese students studying in Australia grown by 17% YOY. Financial cooperation between China and Australia became more diverse and enterprises had easier access to financing. China has become the second largest source of applications for Australian working holiday visa. Persons and times of visits by Chinese businesses have registered a big increase.

Third, the signing of China-Australia FTA has boosted investors’ confidence. In the first nine months this year, China’s FDI in the non-financial sector of Australia reached USD 2.79 billion, up by 73.3%, nearly 20 percentage points higher than China’s overall OFDI growth rate.

Shen Danyang: The implementation of China-ROK FTA has played a positive role in promoting bilateral economic and trade exchanges. First of all, China continues to be ROK's largest trading partner, largest export market, largest source of imports, largest overseas investment destination, largest source of overseas students, and largest overseas tourist destination. ROK continues to be one of China's most important trading and investment partners. Second, bilateral trade between China and Korea remains stable, with some imports and exports growing very rapidly. In the first 11 months of the year, China's exports of beverages, wine and vinegar to ROK increased by 80.3%, exports of copper and copper products increased by 117.2%, while exports such as coffee, tea vegetables, fruits and other plant products increased by more than 20%. Toys, gaming products, sports products and their parts, edible vegetables, meat and fish enjoyed double-digit growth. A Ministry of Commerce survey indicates that nearly 50% of Chinese enterprises say that after the entry into force of the FTA their exports to Korea have increased or increased significantly. 57% of the respondents say that the number of inquiries or orders has increased or increased significantly. This is the picture from the Chinese perspective.

From Korea’s perspective, its exports of fish and other aquatic products to China increased by 35%. Cereals, starch and dairy products increased by 17.8%, essential oils and fragrances, aromatic products increased by 59%, and photography and film supplies increased by 34.7%.

Third, the signing of the FTA has greatly promoted two-way investment. According to Chinese statistics, in the first 11 months of this year, China's non-financial direct investment in the ROK reached 770 million US dollars, registering a substantial increase of 60.7%. Korea’s investment in China reached 4.37 billion US dollars, an increase of 17.8% year on year.

According to the tariff reduction arrangements of the China-ROK and China-Australia FTAs, the third round of tariff reductions will take place on January 1 next year. Tariffs of some imports from Korea and Australia and exports to Korea and Australia will be subject to further reductions based on proportions outlined under the FTA concessions. Products related to the daily life of consumers such as beef, dairy, wine, orange and orange juice, shrimp, crab and abalone, as well as other seafood will enjoy more favorable tariff rates. Some enterprises that export clothing, footwear, aquatic products and electromechanical products will also gain greater benefits from the two agreements. Therefore, we hope that more enterprises can pay attention to and make full use of the tremendous business opportunities brought about by these two free trade agreements.Thank you for question.

China Business News: Recently, Fuyao Group Chairman Cao Dewang said in an interview with CBN that he had plans to invest one billion dollars to set up plants in the US. Some in the media interpreted this as a sign of accelerated capital outflows, and that many Chinese entrepreneurs are ready to make outbound investment. How does the Ministry of Commerce view this issue? What is the direction of the policies related to this issue?

Shen Danyang: I would not comment on Mr. Cao's comments, because what Mr. Cao said was more about manufacturing costs and tax-related issues, and I suggest you ask the authorities in charge of manufacturing and tax for their opinions. But the examples I have cited just now are sufficient to explain whether or not the rising costs facing Chinese enterprises, especially manufacturing enterprises, has resulted in an investment environment that is not conducive to foreign investment, or even domestic investment. Indeed, one must admit that some of the manufacturing enterprises are facing a sustained increase in costs, and their development has encountered difficulties. However, one must also see that with structural adjustment and environmental improvement, there are more areas better suited for more and more foreign and domestic enterprises. For example, the services sector has a lot of development opportunities. I noted recently that a JBIC (Japan Bank for International Cooperation) report on Japanese companies’ overseas investment in 2016 reveals that the vast majority of Japanese companies, especially services enterprises, still regard China as one of the best investment destinations with great potentials. Since the beginning of this year, the growth of Japanese enterprises' investment in China mainly took place in the services industry. Of course, it does not mean that the services industry is the only area that has good development prospect. For those manufacturing enterprises that do not come to China mainly for the low cost, they can still find good development opportunities in China. Because of this, this year, there are still many manufacturing enterprises from other countries that enjoyed rapid growth in their investment in China. These enterprises put more emphasis on China's supporting industries, infrastructure and gradually-improving investment environment. In short, when it comes to judging China's investment environment, we should take a more comprehensive and systematic view.Thank you for your question.

National Business Daily: The New Year's Day and the Spring Festival are approaching. Has the Ministry of Commerce taken any concrete measures to ensure market supply during the holidays? Has relevant work been kicked off?

Shen Danyang: With the New Year's Day and the Spring Festival around the corner, the Ministry of Commerce has begun to make comprehensive deployment in order to ensure adequate supply in the market. The concrete measures are: to improve the contingency work plan, broaden the supply channels, strengthen market monitoring, actively promote consumption and strengthen supervision and guidance. In these five measures, improving the work plan and strengthening supervision and guidance are the "old routine", which I will not elaborate on. The other three measures have quite a lot of new information, and I will give you a brief introduction to them.

First, encourage distributing companies to expand sources of procurement and increase their inventory. To ensure the supply of daily necessities such as grain, oil, meat, vegetables, poultry, eggs and dairy products, local commerce departments will provide assistance to large distributors to connect directly with producers, and make full use of green transport channels for fresh agricultural produce. In regions inhabited by ethnic minorities, we will increase and diversify the supply of tailored necessities such halal food. Moreover, we are prepared to release our merchandise reserves to the market if necessary.

Second, step up market monitoring. During the spring festival holiday, daily monitoring will be conducted in 36 large and medium-sized cities to closely follow the changes in supply and demand and in the prices of daily necessities. We ask local commerce departments to keep in close communication with the media to give timely updates to the public regarding market surveillance results, product supply and demand and government guarantee measures through the internet, TV and newspapers, to stabilize consumer expectation.

Third, local commerce departments will create public service platforms for consumption promotion in light of local festival customs and industrial features. Varied and colorful promotion activities will be organized to meet diversified needs of consumers.Thank you for your question.

Xinhua News Agency: On the early morning of the 22rd Beijing Time, the Office of the USTR issued a report on intellectual property, which put ten Chinese companies including Taobao.com on the list of “notorious markets”. How does MOFCOM comment on that?

Shen Danyang: I don’t know about this yet, so I will not comment now. We will study to issue a statement later.

Caixin Media: On the 19th of this month, China and Norway issued a joint statement, agreeing to launch bilateral FTA negotiations. Why does China seek to hold talks with Norway for an FTA? Have the negotiations been started? Do you have a timetable?

Shen Danyang: It is in the interests of both countries and people to rebuild political trust and resume and step up practical economic cooperation and trade. Our economies are highly complementary, which lays a solid basis and offers a broad prospect for our mutually beneficial cooperation. An early launch and conclusion of the FTA talks is not only good for the two countries, but also sends a clear signal of continued trade and investment liberalization and facilitation to the world. These are China’s considerations for starting FTA talks with Norway.

In fact, the negotiations started six years ago, but it was suspended for well-known reasons. We will stay in communication with Norway to decide on the specific arrangements after the resumption.Thank you for your question.

Reuters: The State Administration of Foreign Exchange reported that China’s outbound investment grew too fast this year. Can the spokesperson tell us its possible impact on China’s outward FDI next year?

Shen Danyang: I believe the general trend of China’s outward FDI will not change, so it will continue to grow next year. Why? Because China has clear guidelines, policies and regulatory rules on outward FDI, which will not change. First, we will continue to encourage enterprises to take part in international economic competition and cooperation and integrate into the global industrial chain and value chain. Second, we will adhere to the principle of “led by businesses, guided by the government and following market rules and international customs”; third, we will stay committed to the reform of “streamlining administration, delegating power, strengthening regulation and improving services”. In a nutshell, we will continue to support capable and qualified Chinese companies to make genuine and law-abiding investment overseas, and take part in international cooperation on production capacity so as to promote the transformation and upgrading of the Chinese economy and deepen China’s mutually beneficial cooperation with the rest of the world.

Of course, there are some recent events that have aroused public concern. The regulators are closely following some irrational outward investment in areas such as real estate, hotels, cinemas, entertainment and sport clubs, as well as the potential risks in large investments in areas that are not the investor’s main business, outward investment by limited partnership firms, “small parent company and large subsidiary” and “quick setup and quick exit”. We suggest the Chinese companies to take a prudent approach. The outward FDI administration regime is an important part of China’s open economy system. We will combine medium and long-term institutional development with discretionary regulation in the short-term. While facilitating outbound investment procedures, we will also guard against potential risks, improve the market order, promote healthy and orderly development of outward investment, and ensure equilibrium in international balance of payments.Thank you for your question.

Shen Danyang: This concludes the press release today. Thank you.

(All information published on this website is authentic in Chinese. English is provided for reference only.)