European companies find it harder to operate in China, according to a survey by the EU Chamber of Commerce in China and Roland Berger. Almost two-thirds of respondents said doing business had become more difficult in the past year, mostly as a result of regulatory hurdles and increased geopolitical tension. The current top business challenge was identified as the economic slowdown, however.
“The negative trends we see in this year’s survey are concerning and reflect both recent challenges – brought by uncertainties in China’s policy environment and rising geopolitical tensions – and the persistence of long-standing market access barriers,” says Jens Eskelund, president of the EU Chamber of Commerce in China. “For China to turn the tide and allow European companies to develop and contribute to their full potential, we really need to see concrete action.”
In May, the EU Chamber reported that European companies have grown more hesitant about their R&D investments in China. This appears to be corroborated by a VNO-NCW survey among Dutch R&D-intensive firms.