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China to introduce new policy for green investment
Published on: 2010-04-12
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A Chinese economic policymaking official released at the Boao Forum for Asia 2010 that China is going to issue a new foreign investment policy next week in order to lure quality and environmentally friendly foreign investment.

"China encourages foreign investment in hi-tech, environmentally friendly industries instead of industries that consume energy and resources excessively and cause pollution," said Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic policymaker, at the Boao Forum for Asia 2010 in Boao, Hainan Province.

Zhang also said a new foreign investment policy will be coming out soon next week in an attempt to lure high-quality, environmentally friendly foreign investment and to promote sustainable, eco-efficient use of natural resources.

China needs to transform itself from an excessive energy consumer and polluter to an economy that relies more on high technologies, from a world factory to a domestic consumption-oriented one, Zhang said.

Zhang said it was "imperative" to do so. In 2009, China's GDP was US$4.7 trillion, or 8 percent of the world's total. But it consumed 18 percent of world's energy resources and was the world's largest emitter of sulfur dioxide.

Zhang said China faces opportunities and challenges for this transformation. He said that while China has opportunities to develop a green and consumer-oriented economy, there is relatively low innovation and incorporation of new technologies into the economy.

In addition to the government policy support mentioned by Zhang, Daigee Shaw, president of Taiwan-based Chung-Hua Institute for Economic Research and a panelist at the forum, said the practical way to develop a green economy is by increasing prices for energy and resources. This would push every industry and individual to conserve them.

Shaw said he doesn't advocate government subsidies that many countries, including China, have for the green industry because it's neither a long-term nor practical way to green growth.

The BFA, established in 2001, is a pan-Asian platform of dialogue for key issues affecting Asia and the world. The theme of this year's meeting is "Green Recovery: Asia's Realistic Choice for Sustainable Growth."

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