China to pursue bilateral investment treaty to allow U.S. investment in Chinese economy

ChinaChina announced during the Strategic and Economic Dialogue held last week with U.S. officials that it will pursue a bilateral investment treaty covering all phases of investment and sectors of the Chinese economy.

The move could open up China’s restrictive market to foreign investment and help create opportunities for American companies.

China also vowed to establish the Shanghai Free Trade Zone pilot, which would allow foreign companies to compete in the services sectors on the same terms as Chinese companies. The country also planned to reduce the tax burden on services firms.

Additionally, Chinese officials said the government would submit a revised offer to join the World Trade Organization Procurement Agreement by the end of the year. The revised offer will include improvements such as increased coverage of sub-central firms and lowered thresholds.

The U.S. government has urged China to move towards a market-determined exchange rate, which is critical to rebalancing the Chinese economy—the move would strengthen the purchasing power of the middle class and reorient Chinese products towards goods for its own consumers.

China said it would continue to take steps that allow the market to largely determine exchange rate formation, adding that it would consider subscribing to international reserves reporting to enhance its reserve transparency.

During the S&ED led by U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, officials from 17 government agencies joined senior Chinese officials in a delegation headed by Vice Premier Wang Yang.

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