Chinese Official Woos More Foreign R & D

Premier promises to protect foreign companies' intellectual property amid worries about rampant product piracy.

DALIAN, China (AP) — Premier Wen Jiabao appealed to foreign companies Thursday to do more research and development in China, promising to protect their intellectual property amid worries about rampant product piracy.
''What we hope is that growth enterprises and emerging companies will base more of their research and development centers in China,'' Wen said at the World Economic Forum in the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian.
The premier mentioned no new financial incentives or other initiatives to attract companies but promised to protect their rights, ''particularly intellectual property rights.''
Dozens of foreign companies have set up development centers in China to take advantage of its pool of scientific talent. But business groups say many are reluctant to transfer advanced technology to China for fear it might be stolen because of piracy of patents, copyrights and other intellectual property.
The three-day World Economic Forum meeting brings together hundreds of foreign and Chinese business leaders.
Wen affirmed Beijing's determination to keep its sizzling economy in check, promising to maintain fast growth while cutting China's swollen trade surplus and easing currency controls that have strained relations with Washington and other trading partners.

''We are confident that with enhanced macro-regulation, the giant ship of the Chinese economy will continue to surge ahead steadily,'' Wen said.
On Thursday, the central bank announced it was increasing the amount of money most Chinese banks must set aside as reserves for the seventh time this year. The step is intended to rein-in lending and help cool an investment boom that Chinese leaders worry could push up inflation or ignite a debt crisis.
The central bank announced its fourth interest rate hike this year on Aug. 21 following an announcement that consumer prices in July rose by 5.6 percent, the fastest monthly rate in a decade.
Wen said Beijing was determined to push through reforms meant to make the economy more efficient and less polluting.
''Saving energy and reducing energy and resources consumption and pollution discharge have been set as obligatory targets in China's plan on national economic and social development,'' he said.