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China Works To Attract Investment

November 30, 1999

SINGAPORE (AP) _ China will continue liberalizing its economy and working to attract foreign investment, Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji said Tuesday.

In a lecture in Singapore, Zhu outlined three strategic measures to help China develop in the next century. China will continue to expand domestic demand and boost economic growth by increasing both investment and consumption, Zhu said.

It also will push on with restructuring its industries, reforming state-owned enterprises, introducing new technologies, and boosting the service sector, he said.

And the government will channel development and investment to central and western parts of China, which have lagged behind the east.

``Reform and opening-up are the only way leading to China’s modernization,″ he said.

Zhu, on an official visit to Singapore, delivered a lecture to an audience of about 1,000 made up mostly of officials and executives.

Following China’s recent trade agreement with the United States, the path is open for Beijing’s entry into the World Trade Organization. Zhu acknowledged fears among Southeast Asian nations that China will lure away foreign investors once it becomes a member of WTO.

``I cannot rule out competition between China and Southeast Asia,″ Zhu said. ``But although China has absorbed a lot of foreign investment ... such competition would be very modest.″

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