BOAO, China (AP) — Major multinational companies are appealing to Chinese President Xi Jinping to reduce barriers to doing business in China's heavily government-directed economy.
In a rare audience with the head of the Communist Party, executives from Pepsico, Samsung Group, Volvo Group and more than a dozen other companies — from agri-businesses to finance — traded handshakes with Xi on Monday while carefully broaching the problems that have bedeviled business success in the world's second largest economy.
They complained about red tape and restrictions on investment that favor Chinese state firms and outright discrimination because of political problems.
Pepsico president Zein Abdalla called for fairer treatment and decried limits on investing in agriculture, which Pepsi wants for its Lays potato chips and Quaker Oats products. He said continued investment by the thousands of American companies would depend on Beijing's pushing ahead with market reforms.