On November 5, AmCham China Chairman Colm Rafferty spoke on a panel organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA), as part of the ongoing China International Import Expo (CIIE). Rafferty emphasized the role that AmCham China and its member companies play in rural revitalization and food security throughout the country.
To begin with, Rafferty introduced the areas in which AmCham China has participated in promoting the development of China’s agriculture sector. The Agriculture, Food, and Beverage Industry Group of the Chamber organizes regular meetings with government officials and senior agriculture industry experts to discuss key trends, topics, and best practices for how our member companies can optimally support the ongoing development of China’s agriculture sector. The AmCham China annual White Paper, written by our member companies, provides specific recommendations for how the US and China can work together to support China’s food security goals through effective trade and regulatory policies and enhanced technical collaboration.
Over this past year, AmCham China incorporated the topic of Rural Revitalization into our Social Impact Initiative program and will continue to do so again this year. The Social Impact Initiative aims to explore how American companies can best help China achieve its top development goals. Last year, AmCham China’s cross-sectoral Social Impact Initiative Report showcased some of AmCham China member companies’ best practices. Through working sessions and meetings with Chinese government officials and other stakeholders, the Chamber aims to leverage more high-quality resources to facilitate the development of education, public health, technology, and labor capacity building in villages across China in sustainable and meaningful ways.
Rafferty ended his speech by expressing the hope for further opportunities for foreign investment in the areas of seed production and biotech, further reform in simplifying approval procedures across the agricultural supply chain, and the reduction in import trade tariffs and barriers for those products which are key to support China’s ongoing work in agriculture and rural revitalization.
AmCham China Chairman Speaks at the CCIEE Symposium
On November 6, AmCham China Chairman Colm Rafferty spoke at the CCIEE Symposium on ‘China’s Opening-Up to the Outside World and Global Economic Governance’, which happened concurrently with the China International Import Exhibition (CIIE).
During his speech, Rafferty emphasized that AmCham China advocates for a stable and balanced US-China trade relationship, whilst highlighting the extremely challenging issues faced by the Chamber’s member companies: since the beginning of 2022, the unpredictable and restrictive COVID protection measures that have been taken in many parts of China have significantly disrupted global supply chains and business travel and dampened the business confidence of many foreign enterprises doing business in China. The Chinese government is working on addressing supply chain issues, he said, but the impact of pandemic control measures remains.
Rafferty further said, from the recent 20th Party Congress, it appeared clear that reform and opening up remains a priority for China. He said that the US business community believes that there are channels where cooperation and further opening can enhance the business environments of both the US and China, and that we look forward to seeing more detailed policy plans in the coming months that can help inform and guide our member companies’ longer-term plans in China.
Before closing his speech, Rafferty shared with the audience AmCham China’s three advocacy priorities:
- Priority one is concerned with US-China relations. Geopolitical tension between the US and China remains a top business challenge to foreign companies. AmCham China strongly encourages both governments to prioritize bilateral communication at the working level, with strong and constructive business community engagement.
- Priority two is about building a transparent and evenhanded regulatory and enforcement environment, with an increased focus on: policy communication and clear enforcement guidelines by both governments, increased communications with multinational companies when proposing key industrial regulation changes, and ensuring companies are allowed sufficient time to implement necessary changes.
- Priority three is about enhancing cooperation and exchange. The US and Chinese governments should engage on issues of global and bilateral importance, with a goal to seek alignment and improve coordination across national security and law enforcement, so that regular trade and business activities can flourish.
Dozens of AmCham China member companies have a presence at the ongoing CIIE and Chairman Colm Rafferty has done his best to visit as many as possible. Rafferty met with member companies including Honeywell, ConocoPhillips, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, Meta, GE, Merck, 3M, Organon, and many more.
AmCham China Vice Chair Gloria Xu (above) and Board member Roberta Lipson (below) were among the many executives to support CIIE, with both given prominent speaking roles in Shanghai.