ECONOMY

China sets out its investment incentives

China places great emphasis on foreign direct investments (FDI), which it encourages through special incentives, said Shanghai Stock Exchange President Geng Liang in a speech in Athens yesterday. FDI in China reached $61 billion in 2004. The Chinese capital market has grown rapidly in the last 15 years: September 2005 data show that the two Chinese stock markets had 1,381 companies listed, with a total capitalization of 3.3 trillion RMB, equal to 24.38 percent of China’s gross domestic product. He explained that Shanghai’s market holds a dominant position in China, as its total capitalization amounts to two thirds of the total of Central China’s capital markets and includes two-thirds of all listed companies. The Chinese official was addressing a lunch by the Greek-Chinese Business Council. Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis, speaking at the same event, expressed his certainty that financial relations between the two countries will strengthen further, adding that China is a significant trade partner for Greece and offers big opportunities to those who wish to invest in the world’s most populous country. He further predicted that Greece’s trade balance with China will improve in the future. The minister pointed out that Greece is not just a market of 11 million people, but a broader commercial center for Southeastern Europe, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea countries. Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis referred to the business mission to Beijing and Shanghai on November 26 which he will head, saying that 100 Greek companies and seven ministries will be represented, in a mission to build bridges between the two countries’ companies. Greek-Chinese Business Council President Theodoros Fessas noted that «the best way to come to close contact with China and its enterprises is to create serious bilateral relations and knowledge of the markets, and to invest capital and know-how in sectors we have mutual interest in.»