South Asia and Beyond

Xi To Meet With US CEOs To Ease Concerns About China’s Business Environment

 Xi To Meet With US CEOs To Ease Concerns About China’s Business Environment

Source: X

President Xi is all set to meet with US business leaders in Beijing on Wednesday. The business meeting is believed to include Apple CEO Tim Cook, Blackstone head Stephen A Schwarzman, and HSBC’s Noel Quinn according to the Wall Street Journal. World Bank President Ajay Banga and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva are also expected to attend.

Xi’s meeting comes after China’s premier Li Qiang did not meet with foreign CEOs as was expected at the China Development Forum. At the meet, which was held from March 24-25, Li said that China’s GDP had grown by 5.2% last year and China’s economic aggregate exceeded 126 trillion yuan (about $17.6 trillion). He maintained that China continued to be one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.

Western analysts have voiced concerns over the slow recovery of China’s economy post-pandemic and the business environment in the country under President Xi. Raids on foreign firms and the jailing of foreign executives in China under a new-espionage law, has hurt the country’s brand image. Increased defence spending, amidst rising tensions with the US, has prompted concerns the country is closing off its economy.

According to an Al Jazeera report, Cook who had attended China Development Forum said that he hoped to increase Apple’s investment in China. Currently, Apple’s flagship iPhone has lost ground to local models like Huawei’s Mate 60 Pro Plus.

“I think China is really opening up, and I’m so happy to be here,” Cook was quoted as saying in interviews to local Chinese media.

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Others are much more circumspect. Georgieva had stated in a speech that China needed more pro-market reforms if its economy was to rebound.

“China is poised to face a fork in the road – rely on the policies that have worked in the past or update its policies for a new era of high-quality growth,” she said, according to the Al Jazeera report. Georgieva suggested that reforms could add $3.5 trillion to the economy over the next 15 years.

Xi last met with business leaders in November last year in San Francisco where the New York Times claimed corporate executives paid $2,000 a head to dine with the Chinese president. The meeting yielded little in the way of reforms.


Ashwin Ahmad

Traveller, bibliophile and wordsmith with a yen for international relations. A journalist and budding author of short fiction, life is a daily struggle to uncover the latest breaking story while attempting to be Hemingway in the self-same time. Focussed especially on Europe and West Asia, discussing Brexit, the Iran crisis and all matters related is a passion that endures to this day. Believes firmly that life without the written word is a life best not lived. That’s me, Ashwin Ahmad.