Interview: "Greater understanding" between China and Europe key to prosperous ties: Spanish expert

(Xinhua) 10:19, February 18, 2024

BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- "Greater understanding" between China and Europe is the key to prosperous business relations in the future, a Spanish entrepreneur told Xinhua in an interview on Friday.

Unlocking the full potential of opportunities between China and Europe depends on greater understanding, Marin Orriols, a Spanish businessman and the CEO of China-Europe Consultants, told Xinhua.

The leader of the consultancy, based in the Spanish city of Barcelona and specializing in aiding Chinese and European companies in market establishment, emphasized that grasping the potential of the Chinese market requires Europeans to develop a profound understanding of China.

"The reality of China is very different from what we think, and we need to make the effort to go to China, to understand China and to see the possibilities of that market," he said.

The consultant also argued that the lack of knowledge of the local business environment, whether in China or in Europe, is a major hurdle for companies in both places, and that these firms require assistance in navigating the intricacies of each other's systems.

He said that many Chinese companies want to come to the European Union countries but fail, "and they fail for the same reason our companies fail there. They see an interesting market of 440 million inhabitants but there are also 27 countries, 24 languages, and each country has its own protectionist policy," said Orriols.

"We should make more of the government delegations visiting Europe from China," giving them support that is more professional and business-oriented and aiding them when they come here to set up business agendas with different sectors, he added.

As for European companies, the CEO argued that looking to the future they have little choice but to find a way to come to terms with China, given the Asian country's continued growth.

"China will become the main power at all levels globally in the 21st century. We can do one of two things: pretend it's not happening and do nothing, or we can accept this reality and face it, which means visiting, talking and negotiating with them," he warned.

Although there is still a lot of work to be done in developing the business relationship between China and Europe, Orriols said he is optimistic that the challenges facing both blocs can be overcome.

"It won't be easy but it can be achieved with the right government policies to help the situation and if we are capable of seeing China as a partner and not a rival," the consultant added.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Zhong Wenxing)


Related Stories