Survey: Most European firms benefit from China's economic recovery

13:12, May 27, 2011      

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European companies saw strong overall growth in China in 2010. According to a survey released by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (EUCCC) on May 25, 79 percent of European companies surveyed said that they are optimistic about further growth within their sector in China, and 70 percent recognize that they benefited from China's economic recovery. At the same time, there has been a substantial increase in their concern over China's regulatory environment.

The EUCCC conducted the European Chamber Business Confidence Survey 2011 in collaboration with Roland Berger Strategy Consultants.

The survey found that 65 percent of respondents are confident that the 12th Five-Year Plan, which focuses on promoting domestic consumption, will positively impact the overall business environment in China, creating further opportunities for growth.

Encouragingly, 70 percent of respondents said that they benefited from China's economic recovery, and 59 percent of respondents said that their sales targets in China have risen from last year. By industry sector, 46 percent of companies in the industrial goods and services sector named "producing/sourcing goods or providing services in China for the Chinese market" as an important reason for being in China.

The survey also showed that Chinese companies have made remarkable improvements in brand recognition, marketing and sales capabilities as well as product quality in the past two years, quickly catching up with their foreign competitors. Most respondents believe that Chinese companies will make more significant improvements in the future.

Charles-Edouard Bouée, Asia president of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, said that European companies are facing increased competition from both international and Chinese competitors. Chinese companies will continue to improve most in brand recognition, product quality, and marketing and sales in the next two years. European companies remain strong in product quality and innovation but need to improve their brand recognition.

EUCCC President Davide Cucino said, "European companies have a huge amount of investments in China and are well-positioned to contribute to China's transformation to a more balanced economic growth model through these enormous investments. We can bring considerable experience in high-tech and high-quality green products and technologies as well as in the service sector. We are expecting China to further open up these sectors to foreign investments according to its 12th Five-Year Plan."

The EUCCC believes that the strategic importance of the Chinese market for European companies is on the continuous rise. About 79 percent of enterprises surveyed are optimistic about China's future development and 59 percent plan to make new major investments in China over the next two years.

However, the EUCCC has also expressed concerns about China's regulatory environment. Roughly 88 percent of enterprises suppose that the rule of law and transparent formulation and implementation of policies will be one of major factors promoting China's economic development over the next several years, and 83 percent said that advancing fairer competition and restraining monopolies will benefit China's future economic performance.

Cucino said: "With the increasingly intensified competition between domestic and foreign companies, European companies are more concerned and sensitive to the changes in China's regulatory environment."

The EUCCC was founded on Oct. 19, 2000 under the support from the Delegation of the European Union to China and its 51 founding members were from various sectors of European enterprises in China. The EUCCC has developed into an active organization with more than 1,400 members since its founding. The EUCCC invited its enterprises members to participate in the survey between February and March of 2011, and 598 out of 1,347 qualified enterprises completed the survey, representing a record response rate of 44 percent.

By People's Daily Online

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