Chinese, U.S. commerce chiefs agree to maintain regular communication

China and the U.S. have agreed to establish a multi-level communications mechanism in which Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao will maintain frequent contact with his U.S. counterpart Gina Raimondo, a consensus reached after the two met in Beijing earlier this week.

The two commerce heads will meet at least once a year, and when it comes to major matters, they will timely address them in direct talks, Shu Jueting, spokesperson for China's Ministry of Commerce, told reporters at a regular news briefing on Thursday.

The two countries have also agreed to hold deputy ministerial-level meetings twice each year and set up a working group, composed of deputy ministerial- and bureau-level officials as well as business representatives from both countries, to address specific business matters, according to Shu.

Additionally, an export control information exchange mechanism has been initiated to serves as a channel where both sides can explain their respective export control systems and improve communication. 

Furthermore, the two sides have agreed that experts from both countries will engage in technical consultations on the protection of trade secrets and confidential business information.  

Shu said foreign enterprises had "conveyed to us that after decades of cultivating the Chinese market, they have a strong desire to keep expanding their business in the country, but growing uncertainties surrounding China-U.S. relations have become the greatest risk affecting their operations in China."

"We believe that the best way to mitigate these risks is to return to the consensus reached by both sides at the Bali Summit, thereby restoring the healthy and stable development track of the China-U.S. economic and trade relationship," she said. 

Shu noted that from January to July, the actual use of U.S. investment in China surged by 25.5 percent compared to the same period last year, demonstrating foreign enterprises' confidence in China's business environment.

In stressing that China's door to opening up will only widen further, she pointed out that the State Council has recently issued a document presenting 24 policy measures with the goal of creating a more favorable investment environment for foreign investors, while the Ministry of Commerce, in collaboration with various departments and regions, is working vigorously to implement these them.

(Cover: Shu Jueting, spokesperson for China's Ministry of Commerce, speaks at a press conference in Beijing, August 24, 2023. /CFP)

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