In meetings concluded last week in the central Chinese city of Chengdu, the United States and China agreed on a number of initiatives that may provide more fairness and transparency to foreign businesses operating in China.

U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, together with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan, co-chaired the 22nd Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade in Chengdu on November 20-21, 2011.

According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, China confirmed during the talks that foreign-invested enterprises are eligible on an equal basis for subsidies or other preferential policies for new energy vehicles with Chinese enterprises, and that these subsidies and preference programs will be implemented in a manner consistent with World Trade Organization rules.

The United States and China will also hold government and industry roundtables in China to discuss online copyright protection and enforcement, including library copyright protection in 2012.

China, according to the U.S., will continue to take measures to ensure that its city and provincial governments use only legitimate software, ensuring that all the types of software used by government agencies are licensed. China has apparently requested government agencies at all levels to bring software into state asset management systems, and the national government will increase resources devoted to conducting audits and inspections, and will publish the auditing results as required by China’s law to ensure that all types of software used by government agencies are being accurately accounted for.

The two countries also agreed to hold a cseminar in 2012 to exchange best practices in approaches to cloud computing. This is most likely a result of foreign apprehension that behemoths like Alibaba and Chinese government-linked Huawei will monopolize this sector next year as the two companies plan to unroll their respective competing cloud services.