EU Tour – First EU-China Forum 2018

2018-09-25 | All chapters

-      The Forum commenced with the opening remarks by Mats Harborn who touched upon the new realities of China - a greying population combined with a strong drive for innovation. The so-dubbed contradiction hence gives rise to the growing demands better quality for welfare, healthcare and elderly-care, requiring more government support in building a more efficient economy to offset the shrinking working population. Finally, MH outlined the vision for the Forum, that is to bring different perspectives and understandings of China through high-ceiling interactions.

-      H.E. Zhang Ming, China Ambassador to EU delivered a speech. Three key messages were voiced. First, China will continue to open up and reform despite the global challenges. Second, the problems that concern the EU industries will be taken seriously by the Chinese authorities. Third, cooperation could not go deep without mutual trust and mutual understanding, which require direct and sufficient communication. Therefore, the Ambassador called for more confidence, optimism and patience from the EU stakeholders.

-      The first session of panel discussion started with the voice outs of top concerns from panelists whose topic centered on the challenges and prospects of China’s innovation. TG and JH echoed the Ambassador’s point on the mutual trust and understanding. BX went farther, pointing out that if China’s success in creating parallels wants to work abroad, it must work up its effort on compatibility in standardization, IPR protection and Cloud business while LS contested that misconception has its ground. To solve the problem in this particular juncture, China needs to gear up its action and translate it into the reality where the innovation is driven by the market. Thoughts on financing support for the implementation of the innovation and China’s divide and conquer strategy for market access were shared as well. The importance of reciprocity and respect for rules was stressed by the panelists.

-      In the second session themed with China’s changing demographics, panelists emphasized, citing concrete business examples, the significance of expertise of workable market experience and in-depth, long-term dialogues especially on the regulatory affairs, in order to achieve tangible results. Observations on the solid progress made in the regulations for the Pharma and Medical Devices sectors were shared by AY. And the link between demographics and growth was explained by HLM, along with the dynamics between the demographics dividend payoff and the pension system. In the context of a shrinking workforce, the choice needs to be made between either savings or the government spending. Panelists also flagged their concerns over the favoring of domestic products in some provinces.

-      During the Q&A sessions, the imbalance of operation conditions between Chinese companies and European companies, the potential impact of China’s economic slowdown on the reform and opening-up and suggestions on how to change the misconception that. The audience also drew inputs from the panel on the ground experience when dealing with regulatory affairs in China.

-      The event wrapped up after the conversation between MH and Pawel Swieboda on China and the EU’s policy on innovation and innovation in general.