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High operating costs 'no barrier for Chinese firms'

By Zheng Yangpeng  (China Daily)

17:54, June 04, 2013

Companies need to get advice on effective cost of working in Europe

High operating costs should not deter Chinese companies from investing in Europe, according to an expert with a major professional services company.

"Do not try to compare (Europe) with what you have in China (in terms of cost), because it is simply not comparable," Gabriel Attias, an audit partner of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu France, told China Daily.

Attias has 28 years' experience with a primary focus on auditing local and multinational clients, and emphasis on the supervision of the Chinese Services Group of Deloitte France.

He said it is important for potential Chinese investors to know their effective cost, which often turns out to be higher than the initially estimated cost. Many lines have to be added to the initial cost, depending on the business and specific agreements with workers' unions, Attias said.

A report by the European Union Chamber of Commerce earlier this year said Chinese investors generally see the EU as being open to foreign investment, and are willing to increase investment there. But they also reported many difficulties, which included dealing with European labor laws and high operating costs.

The wrong approach is to have the image that running a business in Europe is expensive, Attias said.

However, working out how much the effective cost will be can be difficult and this is why Chinese companies should be advised by professional agencies first, he said.

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