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Premier answers concerns of European entrepreneurs

Updated: Feb 07,2021 11:38 AM

Premier Li Keqiang spoke with nearly 30 European entrepreneurs via video link in Beijing on Feb 5.

During the talk, he responded to the entrepreneurs' concerns regarding China's market and consumption, China-Europe trade and investment, China's business environment, the fight against COVID-19, and actions to deal with climate change.

The Chinese economy has deeply integrated into the world economy, and reform and opening-up is the only way for China to achieve modernization, the Premier noted, adding that China has achieved development through opening-up and has raised its level of development in the process.

"China will stay determined to open-up further and remain committed to promoting trade and investment liberalization and facilitation," he said.

The Premier also suggested all parties meet each other halfway, jointly uphold multilateralism and other international consensus, and abide by the rules-based multilateral trading system and the principles of fair competition.

Leif Johansson, chairman of AstraZeneca, a British biopharmaceutical company, showed concerns on how to strengthen cooperation to ensure successful distribution of vaccines around the globe.

Premier Li responded that vaccines are the ultimate weapon in the fight against the pandemic and are global public products, thus the international community should strengthen global vaccine cooperation.

Learning that parts of the marterials for AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccines were provided by Chinese factories, Premier Li said the successful cooperation between European pharmaceutical companies and their Chinese counterparts in vaccine production once again proves that maintaining the stability of the global industrial and supply chain is crucial to global work and production resumption and the well-being of mankind.

"China will continue to strengthen cooperation with other parties on research and development of vaccines and drugs to better safeguard the health and safety of the people."

Jean-Charles Decaux, chairman of the executive board of JCDecaux SA, made suggestions on business environment and achieving fair competition among businesses of all kinds of ownership.

"The Chinese government has devoted itself to constantly improving business environment and promoting fair competition," Premier Li said. "And no business, no matter what kind of ownership it holds, should be under unreasonable restrictions."

As China is still a developing country with unbalanced development among regions and relatively large gap internally, it is hard to avoid some individual cases, but they will be addressed according to rules as soon as they are found, he said.

The Premier added China will strictly obey the international rules, especially the bilateral and multilateral rules in the fields of economy and trade.

Any agreement will be put into practice once reached, he added.

BASF's CEO Martin Brudermüller and SAP's CEO Christian Klein said in their speeches that they hope to strengthen cooperation with China in dealing with climate change and digital development.

"Reducing the consumption of fossil energy will first come to people's mind when they talk about dealing with climate change. Actually, people also have to protect the planet which they depend on for survival, and the international society should make joint efforts in reducing emissions and pollutions because there is only one earth as the home of mankind," said the Premier.

As a manufacturing giant, China perseveres in pursuing high-quality development, promoting low-carbon transition in energy structure and all-around green transformation in economy and society while making full use of the country's stock resource, said Premier Li, adding that the cooperation will help deal with climate change, improve air quality and promote the qualities of life for ordinary people.

According to Premier Li, recently President Xi Jinping said China will strive to peak its carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, and the Chinese government is working on a schedule for that.

"China-Europe cooperation in green development, digital economy and intelligent manufacturing have bright future. It is China's hope that Europe can expand its opening-up in certain areas such as clean energy technology. China is willing to strengthen relevant cooperation with Europe to better serve the interests of people around the world."