Foreigners anticipate a more open China at "two sessions"

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BEIJING/GUANGZHOU, March 1 (Xinhua) -- The world's attention is on China as the country is to open its most important annual political meetings next week, known as the "two sessions."

Foreign business leaders, observers and China watchers have expressed high hopes of seeing a more open China during the meetings and look forward to greater opportunities its development will bring to the world.

Harley Seyedin, president of American Chamber of Commerce in South China, said foreign businesses in China would keep a close eye on the discussion of the draft of foreign investment law, as it will "create a level playing field where everyone can participate," once it is adopted and enforced.

"It will help China open up more," Seyedin said.

A draft of China's foreign investment law will be submitted to the upcoming plenary session of the National People's Congress (NPC), which is scheduled to open on March 5.

Seyedin noted that foreign businesses in China have already sensed a positive signal last year, with the shortened negative list, and have confidence investing in China, fueled by the country's efforts to protect intellectual property rights.

Mizumoto Shinji, president of Hitachi Elevator (China), said the anticipated adoption of the foreign investment law will help build a more law-based business environment in China.

"China's business environment has greatly improved in recent years," said Mizumoto. "We hope that China will further ease its management of foreign capital, so as to create a more stable, transparent and predictable investment environment."

Once adopted, the unified foreign investment law will become a basic law in the field, replacing three existing laws on Chinese-foreign equity joint ventures, non-equity joint ventures (or contractual joint ventures) and wholly foreign-owned enterprises.

Pablo Rovetta Dubinsky, general manager of Spanish firm Tecnicas Reunidas's China branch, said the law would help dispel misgivings among some foreign businesses over China's determination to open up further.

"The foreign investment law to be discussed at the annual legislative session will mark a new beginning in China's opening-up to the world," Rovetta said. "It is a clear demonstration of China's resolve to open up."

In an interview with Xinhua ahead of the "two sessions," Argentine ambassador to China Diego Ramiro Guelar hailed China's spirit of cooperation as the country has been expanding its presence in commerce and investment across the globe.

"Compared to some western countries, China has a much more open attitude toward sharing and transferring its technology, which, in my opinion, is the core spirit of the Belt and Road Initiative," Guelar said.

The ambassador added that as a region, Latin America had established a close association and mutual trust with China, and was keen to maintain the robust cooperation.

Khalifa Mohammed Alkhorafi, the consul-general of the State of Kuwait in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, expressed hope that the upcoming "two sessions" would send more positive signals on the Chinese economy. He added that Kuwait, which is strategically situated in the Persian Gulf region, would provide a lot of business opportunities for Chinese companies.

"There is a very strong relationship between China and Kuwait. There will be many big projects coming soon," he said.

Lusa news agency reporter Joao Pimenta said that China's economic achievements and its efforts on poverty alleviation had impressed the world.

"More and more Chinese families are enjoying a relatively comfortable life. China has also made remarkable achievements in poverty reduction in the process of reform and opening-up," Pimenta said.

Diego Garcia, a Brazilian expert with China Radio International, believes that the international community is paying more attention to China's diplomacy in global affairs.

"China is playing a constructive role on international issues, especially those concerning developing countries," Garcia said. "In particular, the Belt and Road Initiative and the China International Import Expo have served the interests of many developing countries."

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