European Businesses Voice Concern Over Unfairness in China

By Ilya Rzhevskiy, Epoch Times
June 9, 2011 Updated: June 9, 2011

MUNICH—European businesses have suffered while doing business in China, corporations said in a survey by the European Union Chamber of Commerce.

The results of the business survey conducted on European companies doing business in China, showed that European companies are making profits in China, despite escalating “concerns over a perceived unfair playing field and regulatory environment.” The survey was finalized last week.

In terms of growing importance for their businesses, 57 percent of the European companies have voiced their confirmation, up from 40 percent in 2010. In addition to that 78 percent of the participants reported an increase in revenue compared to the last year and 71 percent increased their net profit.

"The fact that 59 percent [of companies] compared with 48 percent in 2010 plan major investments in the next two years is a demonstration of this optimism," Davide Cucino, president of the EU Chamber, said at a briefing on the survey results.

A major issue voiced in the survey was the increasingly tough competition European companies are facing in China from local and other foreign businesses. According to the responses of the survey, Chinese companies are becoming more competitive, strongly improving in brand recognition, marketing, sales and product quality.

“Increasing competitive pressure for all companies operating in China—compounded by inflation/rising costs and increased competition for talent – raises significant challenges going forward,” states the survey summary.

Respondents of the survey have all stated one issue in common—increasing unfairness from the Chinese communist government towards European businesses as opposed to local businesses.

Survey respondents wish for greater transparency and well-regulated markets. An overwhelming 88 percent of respondents see the “rule of law and transparent policy-making and implementation” as the key success driver in China’s future economy.

European firms say that the Chinese government promised that they would respect foreign firms’ intellectual property rights and innovations, while looking to grow domestic businesses. But many European businessmen voiced their concern over intellectual rights, corruption, and cronyism in the Chinese business sector.