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Chinese to invest more in EU

By Zheng Yangpeng  (China Daily)

08:10, February 01, 2013

The China Pavilion at the CeBIT digital and telecommunications trade fair in Hannover, Germany. A survey by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China found 97 percent of Chinese enterprises plan to make additional investment in the EU. Ma Ning / Xinhua

Africa most welcoming, favorable destination for investors, says survey

Despite operational issues such as cultural differences and high cost of personnel, Chinese investors generally see the European Union as being open to foreign investment, and are willing to increase investment there, a survey has found.

Released by the EU Chamber of Commerce in China on Thursday, it found that Chinese investors consider Europe's business environment to be less welcoming compared with Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, but more welcoming than North America and Southeast Asia.

Africa is viewed as the most welcoming destination for Chinese investment, with 85 percent of respondents saying it is more favorable than the EU. North America received the lowest mark, with 22 percent of respondents saying it has a more favorable environment than the EU.

"We have not encountered opposition on the grounds of national security in the EU, which we have in the United States and other regions," a respondent was quoted by the EU chamber as saying.

The report found only 7 percent of respondents encountered national security concerns, with a majority coming from the IT and telecommunications sector. It also found that 97 percent of Chinese enterprises plan to make additional investment in the EU, with 82 percent set to invest more than their current amounts.

China's outbound investment has risen steadily in the past decade, reaching $345.1 billion by the end of 2011, according to the Ministry of Commerce. In 2011, its outbound investment was $60 billion, of which only $4.28 billion, or 7.1 percent went to the EU. However, the scale of investment may be underestimated as a significant amount of Chinese ODI is routed via Hong Kong and British territories.

The survey found the overwhelming reason for Chinese companies' presence in the EU is access to European markets.

David Cucino, president of the EU chamber, said: "Many respondents said increased domestic competition forces them to seek new markets for sales, and become more competitive by acquiring new technologies, brands or expertise."

Deng Dong, president of a Sichuan silk manufacturer, told China Daily he plans to establish a branch in Europe to learn about customers' needs more directly and design tailor-made products. The company used to sell silk to Europe through European distributors.

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