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Report focuses on ways to improve business environment for Chinese companies in the EU

China Watch | Updated: 2019-10-12 17:54


The China Chamber of Commerce to the European Union based in Brussels launched its first flagship report on Friday, calling for a better business environment in the European Union for Chinese businesses.

The report summarizes Chinese companies' rapid development in Europe and recommends an improvement in the business environment in the EU.

The report, titled Report on the Development of Chinese Enterprises in the EU (2019) is a joint effort by the CCCEU and Roland Berger Management Consultants. Zhou Lihong, the chairman of the CCCEU; Raymond Wang, Global Partner of Roland Berger and Didier Tshidimba, Senior Partner of Roland Berger released the report.

Speaking about the report, Zhou, who has witnessed the process of rapid growth and joint prosperity brought by Chinese businesses in Europe, says Chinese companies are committed to exploring more opportunities in Europe, adding: " Chinese entrepreneurs have confidence in the EU's large market of 500 million people and in the professionalism of EU's business partners and high-quality employees.".

The CCCEU was registered last summer with the purpose of further promoting China's economic and trade interactions with Europe, exploring more business opportunities and fostering a better environment for European-Chinese companies in Europe. And more importantly, the CCCEU aims to assist Chinese companies to operate in compliance with European laws and regulations as well as common rules, and thus build up their image in the EU.

Speaking about developments since the CCCEU was registered, Zhou says: "Since then, we have already received support from European governments and various sectors, especially those from business industry. We highly appreciate and value them."

Looking forward, Zhou says that under the guidance of China's new development principles and the "do as promised" tradition of China, the business activities of Chinese enterprises in Europe will become more mature.

And quoting the policy guidelines of Ursula von der Leyen, the new president of the European Commission, who will take office on November 1, that "Multilateralism is in Europe's DNA. It is our guiding principle in the world," Zhou says: "I believe that she will also share the same concept with Chinese leaders, which is expected to be a 'reassurance pill' for Chinese enterprises in Europe."

Zhou also says that she has seen the new EU leadership is committed to leading the transition to a healthy planet and a new digital world and bringing people together and upgrading the market economy to fit today's new ambitions."

"On behalf of more than 900 Chinese enterprises currently listed in the CCCEU, I appreciate the political wisdom of the new EU leaders," says Zhou. "As corporate citizens in Europe, we will also participate in a European transformation through mutually beneficial activities."

Raymond Wang, global partner of Roland Berger, says that in recent years, along with the acceleration toward globalization, many Chinese companies have taken root and thrived in EU countries.

Speaking about the Chinese enterprises in the EU, he says: "The companies have brought enormous benefits to the EU, including industry development, livelihoods, and technology.,"

Wang also says that Chinese companies in Europe still face challenges, such as limited access to certain key areas due to the increasing hurdles forforeign investment by the EU, restrictions on the development of some businesses by Chinese companies due to misunderstandings arising from political and public opposition, little participation in EU standard setting and poor communication between China and the EU.

"And although these challenges have not shaken the confidence and determination of the Chinese companies to develop in Europe, they have inevitably slowed down the pace of enterprise development."

With this background, Raymond Wang says the team wrote this report to focus on the current state of Chinese enterprises' investment and business in the EU, benefits that Chinese enterprises have brought to EU countries, the business environment and challenges facing Chinese enterprises and suggestions for promoting the development of Chinese enterprises in Europe.

The report identifies and specifies 10 key findings from the following three dimensions: the current state of the investment and business development climate for Chinese enterprises in the EU, the benefits that Chinese enterprises' have brought to EU countries and the business environment and challenges faced by Chinese enterprises in the EU.

The findings are as follows:

For Chinese enterprises in the EU have created 0.25 million local workforce opportunities through their development, and they are also dedicated to improving local infrastructure, education, and healthcare.

In terms of capital, investment by Chinese enterprises demonstrates a rising proportion of private capital, rising from 14 percent in 2010 to the current 60 percent.

For Chinese enterprises, the EU countries are not only a sales market, but more importantly, a locale for primary technology and production. Correspondingly, a number of Chinese firms have established R&D centers and factories in the EU for long-term growth. For instance, Huawei has built no less than 23 R&D centres in 14 EU countries, where 2,383 persons are employed and over 75 million euros has been is invested to sponsor research projects.

In order to promote the interests of both parties, three recommendations have been made.

First, EU governments should develop an overall perspective of industry and its long-term development; keep the EU a free market without politicization of business issues and build a navigable, predictable, and transparent business environment.

The EU governments should also be supportive of the development of Chinese enterprises in the EU. And possible measures can include establishing closer communication and coordination, an institute for investment promotion and upgradation of procedures and regulations.

Also, Chinese enterprises in the EU should not only acclimatize to the local EU economy and industry to improve output, but also maintain Chinese cultural elements to build "EU-based companies with Chinese genes".

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