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Sound bites from the Conference (03/05/09)

   BEIJING, March 5 - Top government officials and business executives are a big draw at the annual session of the China's political advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). The remarks or comments they drop to journalists are eagerly studied as hints and pointers to market and policy trends.

  Dong Wenbiao, President of China Minsheng Bank

  "The bank is seeking an overseas strategic partner, and negotiations with a number of banks are underway."

  "I think it is perfectly normal that the banks issued 1.62 trillion yuan (237 billion U.S. dollars) in new loans in January. This robust level of lending is entirely sustainable."

  (Background: China Minsheng Bank, established in 1996, was the first private bank to be established in the People's Republic of China.)

  Chang Xiaobing, CEO of China Unicom

  "China Unicom is in talks with Apple on the question of launching iPhone on the Chinese market."

  (Background: China Unicom is thought to be planning to launch the iPhone in China on May 17, World Telecommunications Day.)

  Zhou Jichang, Chairman of China Communications Construction Ltd.

  "We are considering whether to return to the mainland stock market. If policy hurdles are moved, we will return as soon as possible."

  "Last year, we didn't axe jobs or cut pay. In fact we increased wages last year."

  "The thing I am most concerned is the exchange rate, because our company has many construction projects overseas. The recent volatility of the rate has hit our business."

  (Background: China Communications Construction Ltd is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. It is mainly engaged in the construction and design of transport infrastructure, including port installations and machinery.) 

   Liu Kegu, consultant for China Development Bank

  "It is a good time to introduce an energy tax. Since the government will be making efforts to cut other taxes this year, an energy tax won't impose an excessive burden on companies."

  (Background: Liu Kegu, former vice president of China Development Bank, has proposed the introduction of an energy tax at the previous two sessions of the CPPCC.)

  Wang Jianzhou, Chairman and CEO of China Mobile

  "We are focusing on the domestic market while still expanding in the overseas market."

  (Background: China Mobile has set up its first overseas branch in Pakistan.)

  (Source: China.org.cn/By He Shan)


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