Li Says IP Rights to be Better Protected


Source: China Daily Europe

Premier addresses business forum during visit to Netherlands

China will do more to protect intellectual property rights when dealing with foreign investors, said Premier Li Keqiang.

Li made the remark when addressing the China-Netherlands Business Forum 2018 in The Hague, Netherlands, on Oct 16, before wrapping up his first official visit to the country. He attended the forum with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

"China will not force any technological transfer on any investors. Cooperation must be based on the will of companies, and must firmly adhere to free trade," Li told a full house of business leaders from both countries.

He said in 2017, the amount of IPR fees paid by China was the second largest in the world.

With China's economy undergoing transformation and upgrading, Li said, high-quality growth requires international cooperation in innovation. He said China welcomes Dutch investors, big or small, to invest in China, adding that China's population of nearly 1.4 billion presents large market potential for the commercialization of technical research.

"China will continue its efforts in opening-up, and will give equal treatment to all investors in China. The country remains a popular destination for foreign investment," Li said.

China's economy shows steady yet slowing growth for the third quarter, but it remains within a reasonable range, he said, adding that China is confident of fulfilling its established goals.

Li said that before the forum, he and Rutte jointly witnessed the signing of business agreements between the two countries worth close to $10 billion. The two leaders also visited a high-tech products exhibition and held talks with business leaders from the two nations.

"This demonstrates that cooperation between China and the Netherlands is huge," Li said. "Governments from the two countries will work hard to create an enabling business environment for investors."

The Netherlands is China's second-largest trading partner in the European Union, according to Commerce Minister Zhong Shan, who also spoke at the forum on Oct 16. Bilateral trade volume between the two countries reached $78.38 billion (68 billion euros; £60 billion) in 2017, an annual increase of 16.5 percent.

Addressing the forum, Rutte said that in the long run, both China and the Netherlands will benefit from a rules-based multilateral system, and he thinks there is major potential in Sino-Dutch business cooperation.

"Protectionism stands in the way of progress. And on a level playing field, we can all be winners," Rutte said.

The Netherlands is the second leg of Li's nine-day trip from Asia to Europe, which began on Oct 11 with a visit to Tajikistan. His following trip was to Belgium.