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Bold China refuses to be bossed around

Malcolm Moore and Lawrie Holmes
The Sunday Telegraph
28 March 2010

PA’s George Gao, emerging markets expert, has been quoted in The Sunday Telegraph commenting on the trial of Rio Tinto executives in China and what this means for foreign investors operating in China.

George comments that investment in China is unlikely to be affected by events surrounding Rio and Google: "These are specific issues, not a typical case," he says. "China is opening up more and more to the rest of the world. A new trend is going out to other countries to invite more companies to come in and invest."
Two years ago Mr Gao brought the mayor of Liaoyuan City in Jilin province to Britain to find companies to revitalise the former coal-mining city. "They wanted to develop new industries, using new energy as well as build industrial parks and wanted to establish relationships with companies to do that. The visit got a lot of interest from companies here."

Mr Gao is planning similar trips for other clients. Next up is a fact-finding mission for the governor of Hainan province, China's largest island which is seeking to build a vast resort that will include a horse-racing course and surfing village. The budget for the first phase of development is around £3bn.

"We will be coming in May or June to France, the UK and US to look for partners," says Mr Gao. Although China's "open door policy" of inviting inward investment has been in place since Mao Tse-tung died in 1976, the strategy of courting investment from foreign companies is only five years old. It is proof of China's determination to open up further, says Mr Gao.

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