The president of China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) strongly criticized a rising tide of global protectionism that has prevented many mainland firms from investing abroad, the South China Morning Post reported. Fu Chengyu, speaking at a panel at the Boao Forum, said that protectionism was worsening as developed economies move towards raising trade barriers and using protectionist measures to revive domestic economic growth. This is forcing CNOOC to expand overseas through joint ventures as opposed to acqusitions. Fu argued that CNOOC was the victim of protectionism in 2005 when opposition from US politicians forced the CNOOC to withdraw its US$18.5 billion bid for American oil firm Unocal. “Don’t listen to any government officials’ vows about eliminating protectionism and encouraging free trade,” Fu said. “George W. Bush spoke loudly against protectionism, but the US government put clauses of protectionist measures into law.”
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