Almost all foreign companies in China got a sweet return on their investment, Premier Li Keqiang told an audience of 180 global and Chinese CEOs at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin.
High-profile founders Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com , Travis Kalanick of Uber and Lei Jun of Xiaomi were among the business leaders at the exclusive event, where Li spurned an opening address, saying he wanted to get right down to business and take questions from CEOs attending 2016's "Summer Davos."
Benioff asked Li what he saw as China's most urgent challenges, and how businesses could partner with China to overcome them.
Li said private businesses, both domestic and from abroad, had helped identify barriers to growth and innovation in China, but at the same time, he emphasized that even foreign companies that had encountered problems doing business in China had still done very well.
"Even if you may have encountered a certain kind of difficulty or friction in the process, I believe if you take a look at the several years of your investment or your company, I feel pretty confident to say that for the vast majority of foreign investors, they will feel they have had a pretty high yield for their investment in China," Li said.
The Chinese Premier got a loud laugh from the audience when he added, "It's not just a vast majority - I think it's over 99.9 percent."