Thu, March 19, 2009
Business > Economy > Coke-Huiyuan deal rejected

China denies Coca-Cola decision equals trade protectionism

2009-03-19 11:12:07 GMT2009-03-19 19:12:07 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, March 19 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) Thursday denied its refusal to approve Coca-Cola's acquisition of Huiyuan Juice Group is protectionist.

MOC spokesman Yao Jian said the decision would have no affect on China's policy in accepting foreign investment.

Yao said the ministry made the decision based "on sufficient investigation and research, on the basis of facts, and strictly inline with the country's anti-monopoly law".

He said countries worldwide commonly reviewed acquisition activities under anti-monopoly laws, and China was no exception.

"The purpose of the examination is to maintain market competition, protect consumers and safeguard the public interest," he said.

The Chinese government would continue to actively accept foreign investment, enhance "opening up", and provide foreign investors with a good investment environment.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang echoed Yao's comments, saying the rejection of Coca-Cola's bid for Huiyuan was in no way protectionism.

"Products of the Coca-Cola company are available anywhere in China's market. The country's market is fully open to foreign companies," said Qin.

The MOC announced on Wednesday that Coca-Cola's bid to acquire China Huiyuan Juice Group failed to meet requirements set out in the anti-monopoly law.

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