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China's agenda a chance for European firms

By Li Xiang, Diao Ying  (China Daily)

08:47, December 21, 2012

Continent able to cash in on nation's urban growth: Experts

The policy agenda set at last weekend's Central Economic Work Conference will not only benefit China, but bring opportunities for European businesses, accord ing to experts.

"It is a positive sign that China is going to shift toward a more domestic consumption-oriented growth model," said Francoise Nicolas, senior economist and director of the Center for Asian Studies at the French Institute of International Relations.

China can no longer achieve a relatively higher rate of growth based on exports and investment, she said.

"That type of growth strategy is over and you have to change gears. The Chinese leaders are very well aware of the problem," Nicolas said.

"If the government takes major efforts to expand the Chinese market and to genuinely further open the market, it will be extremely positive for French and European firms."

Antoine Doyon, associate director of consultancy Arthur D. Little, said that while China pays more attention to increasing domestic demand, private and foreign companies will benefit.

He said service sectors such as fast-moving consumer goods, logistics, IT outsourcing, and industry sectors with high technology content and added value will bring opportunities for foreign investors, while capital-intensive and labor-intensive sectors will not fare as well.

To benefit from a consumption-driven service-based economy, "foreign companies will need to re-examine their unique selling propositions and pay extra attention to product and service features that Chinese consumers will like, " he said.

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