WASHINGTON: Craig Allen, president of United States-China Business Council (USCBC), said the Chinese economy is generally doing “pretty well,” and the prospects for good growth over the next five or 10 years “remain strong.”
Allen, who came into office in July last year, said the US business community “remains very interested in being fully engaged” with China and expanding exports and investments to China, as well as welcoming Chinese investments to the United States.
Calling the Chinese government’s efforts to deleverage the economy and control the debt “quite effective,” Allen said that naturally would lead to “a bit of a slowdown” in the economy.
“But that’s a good thing if it creates higher quality growth,” he noted.
Allen, who served as Commercial Attache at the US Embassy in Beijing in the 1990s and later as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for China at the US Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, has witnessed China’s development over the past few decades.
“For me it is just a miracle,” he said, adding that over 40 years, “over the course of one’s working lifetime,” China has gone from one of the poorest countries in the world to one that now aims to eliminate absolute poverty.
“It’s amazing in every way,” Allen said, specifying the science and technological advancement and the development of infrastructure in China.
After decades of reform and opening-up, China has integrated into a global supply chain in a very sophisticated manner, said Allen.
Looking ahead, he said China faces an opportunity to embrace a new round of reform and opening-up, urging the country to further open its door to allow foreign companies to “play a stronger role” in its economy.
“I think that the Chinese leadership is very wise, and that they realize that market-oriented competition will lead to greater growth,” Allen said, adding that foreign companies will bring investment, employment, as well as business models and software to China, and will spur its economic growth in the coming years.
The USCBC president said he believes “good progress” has been made in US-China trade talks and urged the two teams to overcome difficulties and reach an agreement “as soon as possible,” so as to rebuild confidence in the business community.
Allen said he hopes that leaders of the two countries are able to reach an agreement “that is beneficial for both the Chinese people and the American people,” and that “better reflects” norms of multilateral organizations such as the World Trade Organisation.
Despite “real difficulties” in certain areas, he remained “very positive” about the two sides reaching a deal.