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In China, U.S. CEOs see obstacles, opportunities

Aug 19, 2011
Carter Wood

Vice President Joe Biden and Vice President Xi Jinping of China spoke on the economy, trade and investment Friday at a Beijing gathering attended by U.S. executives of companies that do business in China. Bloomberg's thorough roundup story, "Biden Talks Trade, Market Access With Coca-Cola, China CEOs," reported on the growing concerns of American business leaders that China's regulatory system intentionally restricted access to U.S companies and products. Bloomberg also provided the White House's list of U.S. attendees, including:

President and CEO General Electric Co. Greater China Mark Hutchinson; JP Morgan Chase & Co. Chairman and CEO for China Zili Shao; President for Dupont China Tony Su; General Motors China Inc. President and Managing Director Kevin Wale; Group President Caterpillar Inc. Richard Lavin; CEO Corning Inc. China Eric Musser; Founder/Executive Chairman of Acorn International Inc. Robert Roche; CEO Chindex International Inc. and Chairman of the Board of United Family Hospitals Roberta Lipson and Chairman of Board of Governors of AmCham China Ted Dean.

Thanks to @CocaColaCo for pointing us to the story. Coca Cola made a big announcement yesterday, "Coca-Cola Invests US$4 Billion for Long-Term Sustainable Growth in China."

"China is one of our most important growth markets in the world as we work to achieve our 2020 Vision goal of doubling system revenues and servings this decade. The new investment is a part of our long-term commitment to invest in innovation, partnerships and a portfolio that will enable us to grow our business in a sustainable and responsible way," said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, during a visit to Shanghai. "Besides our infrastructure and capabilities, the new investment will also focus on enhancing the consumer experience, ensuring product affordability and building brand loyalty which deliver sustainable growth."

Growth in China, growth in the United States: On Aug. 1, Caterpillar made an announcementy, "Caterpillar to Open Facility in China to Produce Undercarriage Components for Hydraulic Excavators." That same day Caterpillar also issued a news release, "Caterpillar Announces Expansion Plans for Remanufacturing Facility in West Fargo, ND to Support Mining Industry."

Other coverage of the Beijing gathering:

Speaking of China Daily, newspaper racks for the paper showed up in the K Street area today. In the four blocks of Connecticut Avenue between Farragut North and Business Roundtable's offices, we spotted three stands for the paper, which represents the government's official line in the PRC, and as such, well worth reading. Sports coverage was thin today, though.