April 15, 2016 – China should continue to embrace the benefits of global interaction and cooperation between people, organizations, and governments as it continues to develop, the American Chamber of Commerce in China said today in its newly released 2016 American Business in China White Paper. The continued lack of clarity surrounding its stated reforms, the continued use of industrial policies that restrict foreign participation in China’s economy, the lack of transparency and excessive discretion in the enforcement of regulations, and the implementation of overly broad national security regulations are creating fundamental concerns about a divergence between the direction of China’s development and international norms, the paper says.
“Serious and systemic challenges remain, particularly around the key issues of market access and barriers to investment, opaque rules and regulatory practices, and the overall development of and respect for the rule of law,” said AmCham China Chairman James Zimmerman. “Our companies understand and appreciate the complexities and difficulties that the Chinese leadership is confronted with as it balances its economy and drives reform. But much work lies ahead for all of us in 2016 and beyond as the Chinese economy continues to mature and the government implements and enforces a host of new laws that have been in the pipeline for years.”
This is the 18th year that AmCham China has produced its White Paper. It is written by the chamber’s members and includes more than 43 chapters covering industry-specific and cross-industry issues. It also addresses many of the issues identified in the chamber’s annual Business Climate Survey, which was released in January.
The White Paper also highlights the chamber’s policy priorities for the year.
Fairness and Transparency
Economies benefit from the provision of a level playing field in an environment based on open competition for all companies through the transparent enforcement of regulations in accordance with the rule of law.
- We believe that China should implement across the board its multiple commitments for 30-day notice and comment periods on draft laws and regulations, regardless of how the regulations are labeled.
- We encourage the Chinese government to improve transparency by releasing formal findings and case histories of anti-monopoly-related investigations.
Dynamic Open Investment Environment
Sound investment generates economic activity regardless of the country of origin and creates jobs, raises skills, expands consumer choice, and grows the economy.
- We encourage the Chinese government to implement further market opening in the services and consumer sectors prior to a bilateral investment treaty agreement to foster greater growth.
- We encourage both governments to prioritize negotiation of a robust US-China BIT with a short negative list, narrowly crafted exceptions, and text that ensures the full benefits of the treaty can be effectively reached within China’s unique market.
Fair and Market-based Innovation
Innovation flourishes only in an environment where intellectual property is protected from infringement and excessive government regulation and standards are set with broad participation. Policies encouraging innovation should be implemented in a fair and nondiscriminatory manner for both foreign and domestic companies.
We believe indigenization hampers innovation and competitiveness in any country and urge the China’s government to expressly welcome foreign-invested companies as equal participants in ongoing initiatives including “Made in China 2025.”
We encourage the Chinese government to remove requirements for IP localization and to allow foreign companies to participate in standards development organizations on an equal basis with domestic companies.
We also encourage the Chinese government to build upon the progress made in improving the IPR environment through the expansion of the IP courts and the creation of a comprehensive trade secrets law.
We urge the government to avoid excessive regulation of the internet and allow the free flow of ideas and information that can drive innovation.
“The 2016 White Paper further reflects that our member companies desire to play a positive and constructive role in the development of the country in a manner that is mutually beneficial to our member companies and the communities in which they operate,” Zimmerman said. “We look forward to an open and candid dialogue with the Chinese leadership with respect to the issues raised in this paper.”
About AmCham China
The American Chamber of Commerce in the People's Republic of China is a non-profit, non-governmental organization whose membership comprises more than 3,800 individuals from over 1,000 companies operating across China. The chamber's nationwide mission is to help American companies succeed in China through advocacy, information, networking and business support services. AmCham China is the only officially recognized chamber of commerce representing American business in mainland China. With offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Shenyang and Wuhan, AmCham China has more than 60 working groups, and holds more than 300 events each year. Visit: www.amchamchina.org
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