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Britain warns China against protectionism

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1 Britain warns China against protectionism on Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:18 pm


Britain warns China against protectionism
Britain has warned China against protectionist behaviour, as British businesses complain of being forced out of the Chinese market.

By Malcolm Moore in Shanghai
Published: 1:26PM GMT 15 Mar 2010

The mood among foreign businesses operating in China has soured dramatically, with many complaining that they are facing the worst conditions for decades.

David Miliband, the Foreign secretary, met with British companies in Shanghai and admitted that some had complained that "there are problems here".

"There have been different experiences among different companies, depending on the sectors that they are in," he said.

However, he played down fears, voiced earlier by other diplomats, that companies were now openly considering pulling out of China. He said British business had a "very strong commitment" to China.

Across a wide range of sectors, China has implemented protectionist measures in order to boost its domestic firms and lock out foreign competitors.

Mr Miliband warned that the ability of Western governments to keep their markets open depended on the public perception that China was doing the same.

"It is worrying that we are seeing more reports of foreign investors in emerging economies encountering new barriers to investment," he said.

"This not only increases protectionist pressures in Europe and the United States, it also deprives China and other emerging economies of cutting-edge technologies which in turn raises their own competitiveness," he said, in a speech to Shanghai's Institute of International Studies.

The Foreign secretary also warned that without active cooperation from the Chinese, the global economy could continue to suffer from "harmful, persistent imbalances between countries".

His words came after Barack Obama took aim at China's trade surplus, and the need for the country's currency to move to a "market-oriented" exchange rate, in a speech last week.

The yuan has been pegged to the dollar since mid-2008 and some economists believe it could be undervalued by as much as 40pc.

Wen Jiabao, the Chinese prime minister, responded sharply to the calls for the yuan to appreciate, telling journalists in Beijing that exports from the West to China had not been affected by the current exchange rate.

However, Mr Wen also acknowledged that China would had to reform its exchange rate mechanism towards a "market-based" but "managed float" system.

His comments ignited speculation that China could loosen the peg with the dollar as early as next month.

"A break from the tight range could start as early as April or May," said Wensheng Peng, at Barclay's Capital, who is predicting an annual appreciation of around 5pc between the yuan and the dollar.

2 Re: Britain warns China against protectionism on Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:55 pm


ain't got no freakin Walmarts in Briton.....oops I mean Chinamarts......

3 Re: Britain warns China against protectionism on Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:59 pm


but they do have walmart supercenters in china...lmaoooooooooooo

4 Re: Britain warns China against protectionism on Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:02 pm


bet they save a buttload on shipping since it's all made there.

5 Re: Britain warns China against protectionism on Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:41 pm


SCREAM IT Britain!!!!!!!!!

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