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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

Belgian ambassador lauds China investment

(Xinhua)

09:39, March 28, 2012

BEIJING, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Patrick Nijs, the Belgian ambassador to China, said he believes Chinese companies are ready to tap the potential of the European market following a weeklong tour of Belgium by a Chinese business alliance last Friday.

"Chinese enterprises have gained the adequate energy and potential to go global," Nijs said.

The Aigo Entrepreneurs Alliance, which is made up of the heads of several major Chinese companies, traveled to Belgium to promote Chinese brands. The alliance has established a branch office in Brussels, with the municipal government granting the alliance a one-year rent exemption and free consulting services.

The move is not an "isolated" gesture made toward Chinese companies, but is a policy adopted by Belgium to boost its economy, Nijs said.

"The go-global policy poses both challenges and opportunities for Chinese companies," Nijs said. "It will not happen smoothly, since they have to get acquainted with local administrative requirements and consumer habits."

Nijs said Chinese companies should map out detailed business plans in accordance with European Union regulations instead of rushing to invest.

Feng Jun, CEO of China's Aigo technology company and founder of the alliance, said he created the alliance to allow Chinese companies that are eyeing the EU market to join hands and reduce the risk of overseas investment.

China is intensifying its efforts to help its companies penetrate the global market. A report released by the Ministry of Commerce last year showed that China's outbound direct investment (ODI) surged 21.7 percent year-on-year to 68.81 billion U.S. dollars in 2010.

The Belgian and Chinese governments agreed to broaden and reinforce exchanges between the two countries when Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun visited Belgium in February.

China's Geely Holding Group pledged not to lay off workers at its plant in the Belgian city of Ghent after its acquisition of the Volvo Car Corporation in 2010.

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