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Foreign firms in China looking for action from new leadership amid tougher business climate

Foreign companies in China say they want action from the country's new leaders on easing bureaucracy and improving market access amid a tougher business climate.

Businesses surveyed by the American Chamber of Commerce China show just 28 percent see China's investment environment improving, down from 43 percent a year earlier.

Only 18 percent of the 325 businesses responding said they planned to substantially expand their investments over the next year, down from one-third in the year before.

Slower economic growth, market barriers and government restrictions were main reasons for the more modest investment plans, while rising labor costs were also a concern.

Chamber President Christian Murck said companies were encouraged by recent pro-business pledges from Premier Li Keqiang and other new leaders, but real action is now needed.