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Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang Meets with IBM President Virginia M. Rometty and Her Party

Time:2012-02-23Editor:Resource:PrintingSize:LargeMediumSmall

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On February 22, Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang met with IBM President and CEO Virginia M. Rometty and her party in Beijing. CPAFFC President Li Xiaolin and Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Kunsheng were also present. The two sides had a candid discussion on the overall China-U.S. relationship, bilateral economic and trade relations, China’s social and economic development and the international situation.

Vice Premier Zhang extended his congratulations to Ms Rometty on taking up her position as President and CEO early this year. He said that, with concerted efforts by both sides, overall relations between the two countries would generally maintain good, positive momentum. Particularly, during President Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States in January 2011, the two heads of state had reached an important consensus on building a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and benefit, laying a solid foundation. Recently, invited by US Vice President Joe Biden, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping had paid a successful visit to the United States through which the two sides had enhanced mutual understanding and trust, further expanded practical cooperation in all fields and reached an important consensus on accelerating building a strong bilateral cooperative partnership. This was of great significance for maintaining a continuous, healthy and steady development of bilateral relations for a long time to come. The politicians and entrepreneurs of both countries were fully aware of the importance of bilateral cooperation. However, there were always some politicians in the United States who like to exploit such issues as the Renminbi exchange rate, Tibet, etc. to create obstacles to the development of relations. Although an irritant, they would not hinder healthy development of the bilateral relationship.

China was now implementing the 12th Five-Year Plan and endeavoring to readjust economic structure and expand domestic demand. The United States was also accelerating its economic restructuring and enhancing efforts to implement a “Plan to Double U.S. Exports” and the“Select USA”initiative. These provided a vast space for the two countries to cooperate in the fields of trade, investment, new and clean energy and newly emerging industries. China’s ongoing process of industrialization, urbanization and agricultural modernization would generate huge market demand. The growth and internationalization of Chinese enterprises would also accelerate the soaring demand for FDI. By 2015, the scale of China’s domestic consumer market would reach 31 trillion RMB. In the coming five years, China would import commodities worth over US$8 trillion, among which imports of high-tech products would form an important part. In the coming decade, China’s external investments would reach US$1 trillion. Facing this rare historic opportunity, China and the United States should join hands and further tap the potential for bilateral mutually beneficial cooperation to create a new situation in bilateral economic cooperation.

 Ms. Rometty expressed her thanks to Vice Premier Zhang for meeting her and her party. China’s economic growth benefited not only itself but also the whole world. It was a mode of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation. This was her first visit to Asia since she assumed the post of IBM CEO. China played an important role in IBM’s global business development. For years, the company had dedicated itself to research and innovation, attached great importance to personnel training and helped Chinese enterprises achieve better transformation and upgrading. IBM had shifted to China its headquarters for business in more than 140 countries and regions except for the developed countries. It was now actively planning to move the innovation center for energy and automobile industries to China. The company’s robust business growth in China not only expanded American exports to China and increased employment opportunities for both countries, but also boosted bilateral cooperation and promoted the overall bilateral relationship.

Vice Premier Zhang expressed his appreciation of IBM for its contribution to the development of bilateral relations. He said its 20-year successful business operation in China should be attributed to its correct understanding of the country. The continuous spread of the international financial crisis, particularly aggravation of the European sovereignty debt crisis, had had great impact on global economic recovery and stability of international finance. In West Asia and North Africa, regime change in some countries had triggered social instability. The situation in Iran was grave due to much saber rattling, affecting international oil supply and security. Against such a backdrop, China and the United States, the two largest economies in the Asia-Pacific region, and indeed the world, needed to uphold the spirit of cooperation, reduce frictions and prevent politicization of differences between them. The two countries should use bilateral channels as well as multilateral platforms such as the G20 to strengthen coordination in macro-economic policies, give full play to the capacity of the two engines of global economic development and promote vigorous and sustainable economic growth of not only themselves but also the rest of the world. Vice Premier Zhang hoped that IBM, as a global transnational enterprise and China’s old friend, would make its contribution in this aspect and promote cooperation between enterprises of China, the United States and the rest of the world so as to tide over the current economic difficulties together.   

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