European Chamber Vice President Massimo Bagnasco Meets with Vice Director Zhang Yechu of Foreign Affairs Office of Sichuan Province

2023-11-13 | Southwest China

European Chamber Vice President Massimo Bagnasco Meets with Vice Director Zhang Yechu of Foreign Affairs Office of Sichuan Province

1 Zhang Yechu, Vice Director of Foreign Affairs Office of Sichuan Province

·         Greetings.

·         Welcomed the participants of European Chamber.

·         Thanked the European Chamber of Commerce for its efforts in promoting cooperation between Sichuan and European enterprises.

·         He stated that the European Union is a key area for the province of Sichuan to open up to the world. The two sides have extensive exchanges and connections in areas such as economic and trade investment, technology, humanities, and local friendship, with a good foundation for cooperation and broad prospects for cooperation.

·         He mentioned that President Xi Jingping met European Commission President Von Der Leyen in April 2023. President Xi stated that China is willing to work with Europe to grasp the direction and tone of the development of China Europe relations, and inject new impetus into further deepening China Europe relations. It has set the direction for cooperation between Sichuan and European countries in the field of economy and trade.

·         At the beginning of this year, the Chinese government made adjustments to the control of the COVID-19 epidemic, which also provided good conditions for cooperation between China and the EU. The Sichuan FAO and the European Chamber have maintained close contact and have cooperated well on activities such as the two joint events: European Chamber’s trip to Yibin city in 2021 and trip to Luzhou city in 2022. He hoped to carry out more practical activities under the current favorable conditions with the Chamber.

·         Introduced his colleagues: Mr. Yang Shiming, Chief of Europe and Africa Division; Ms. Yang, a new comer who is in charge of France related issues and today she is the interpreter.

·         At present, Sichuan's economy and society maintain a good momentum of development. He hoped that EU enterprises will continue to strengthen their confidence in developing in Sichuan. Relevant departments in Sichuan will continue to communicate with the European Chamber, continue to support the development of EU enterprises in Sichuan, and warmly welcome more EU enterprises to invest and start business in Sichuan.

·         Thanked the Chamber’s trust and thanked Massimo for providing the constructive suggestions.

·         International hospital in Tianfu is in progress: UPMC

·         Suggest the Chamber further contact Sichuan Provincial Bureau of Economic Cooperation to have a dialogue.

2 Massimo Bagnasco, Vice President of European Union Chamber of Commerce in China and Chair of Southwest China Chapter of the Chamber

·         Thanked Mr. Zhang’s time.

·         The Chamber took great attention with the relationship with Sichuan FAO.

·         Introduces colleagues: Dieter, Board member of SWC; Sally Huang, GM of SWC.

·         Sichuan is among the provinces in China with highest and more solid development even along the last period when many provinces were struggling.

·         Chengdu is the leading city of the province and it’s important to underline as many other cities around Chengdu are having very important development. With the support of FAO, Chamber/ Massimo got the chance to visit Miehshan, Luzhou, Yibin, Suining, Dujiangyan, Pengshan and many others.

·         Mentioned the Chamber’s yearly visit to Brussels to meet European Commission, European Parliament, European Council, Chinese Ambassador to Europe. The Chamber had 56 meetings in one week. It is important to deliver the messages how is the present situation in China, how members feel about their business in China, which are the problems but also the opportunities that we had in this country.

·         Mentioned the Position Paper of the Chamber: 2/3 companies felt difficult to make business in China. 11% companies left China but 24% of the companies will invest more in China. 60% of the members are willing to increase investment in China if the business environment improved.

·          Relationship with China is very important. There are huge number of very high-level mission of the European Union official which visited China last month.

·         24 Measures to improve the Foreign Business Environment, issued by the State Council last August, are aligned with our need on business environment.

·         Last week, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce released a letter on the Special Clearance Work on Unreasonable Differential Treatment between Domestic and Foreign Investors. The Ministry of Commerce will clean up some procedure to give the true equal opportunity to Chinese and foreign companies registered in China. This is very important. After pandemic, especially SME suffering a lot. The companies need support, not just for landing in China but also developing business in daily operation.

·         Mentioned BCS. All members have great expectation on Chengdu-Chongqing twin city cycle. Need to learn to the clear opportunity and policy understanding.

·         Carbon neutrality: member companies are willing to fulfil the target of Carbon neutrality even earlier than 2060. It needs time to implement. Would like to have more dialogue to convene more dialogues at the provincial and municipal levels for exchange about which procedure could be taken. Members can provide know-how, technology, equipment and strategy. We Hope to establish close cooperation and exchange with secondary cities.

·         FDI: the trend is decreasing. Carbon neutrality is an opportunity to increase FDI. Attracting foreign talents is another way.

·         Foreigners in China, Sichuan and Chengdu are good ambassadors. We (Chamber and gov.) can work together to ensure people here today can stay in China.

·         International schools wish to have more dialogue with gov and deeper cooperation.

·         International hospital: more foreign doctors are needed. They have a better understanding of foreigners’ health.

·         Improve talent introduction policies for senior talents. Measures to attract talents need to be adjusted. Adjust foreign talent standards, to match with foreign talents’ qualification not just based on local one. It can help, for example, to give opportunity to get a house which is a basic condition to ensure a long-term stay.

·         When we make suggestions and concerns, they are constructive. If companies, members, can get better business condition and life here then the companies can grow up, can be bigger, can hire more people and pay more tax. When we make suggestions, it is for common development.

·         Glad to know the UPMC hospital will be completed.

More information: