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2022-05-05 | All chapters

China’s COVID-19 policy and Russia’s war in Ukraine cause severe disruptions to European business in China

Beijing, 5th May 2022 – The European Chamber, in partnership with Roland Berger, today released a survey on the impact that China’s COVID-19 policy and Russia’s war in Ukraine are having on European business in China. The results show that both factors are creating severe challenges to European business operations, with logistics suffering the most overall. Significantly, as a result of China’s COVID-19 policy, 23% of respondents are now considering shifting current or planned investments out of China to other markets—more than double the number that were considering doing so at the beginning of 2022, and the highest proportion in a decade—and 7% are considering the same due to the war in Ukraine.

The introduction of more stringent COVID-19 containment measures in 2022, with China imposing full or partial lockdowns in at least 45 cities, is causing massive uncertainty for businesses. Three quarters of respondents report the measures have negatively impacted their operations, most acutely on logistics/warehousing, business travel and the ability to conduct face-to-face meetings, which have had a negative impact for 94%, 97% and 94% of respondents respectively.

Supply chains have taken a pounding, both upstream and downstream, with 92% of companies being impacted by measures such as China’s recent port closures, the decrease in road freight and spiralling sea freight costs.

More than a quarter of European businesses report headcount decreases because of China’s COVID-19 policy, with this happening most in the education (80%), legal (46%), retail (43%) and cosmetics (40%) industries. Other key findings include the following:

  • 60% of respondents have decreased their 2022 revenue forecasts.
  • 91% of respondents believe China should focus on vaccinating the entire population, including those over 60; 82% believe that positive cases with no or mild symptoms should be permitted to quarantine at home to alleviate pressure on the health system; and 82% believe that the best mix of vaccinations and boosters should by permitted, including making foreign mRNA vaccines available to all residents in China.
  • 78% of respondents feel that China is a less attractive investment destination as a result of its more stringent COVID-19 restrictions.
  • The war in Ukraine has also made China a less attractive investment destination for a third of respondents. The war is exacerbating challenges faced by businesses as supply chains disintegrate. Nearly two thirds of respondents have faced disruptions transporting goods to and from Europe. In addition, rising material and energy costs are having a negative impact on 63% and 58% of respondents respectively.

“Our members are willing to weather the current storm, but if the current situation continues, they will of course increasingly evaluate alternatives to China,” said Jörg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce. “A predictable, functioning market is better than one that, despite having high growth potential, is volatile and suffers from supply chain paralysis.

“The uncertainty caused by the stringent and dynamic COVID-19 policies impedes the ability for European companies to make sound business decisions, in an overall deteriorating economic context due to the impact of the war in Ukraine,” said Denis Depoux, global managing director of Roland Berger. “A clearer crisis exit strategy would help maintain confidence in a European business community still highly committed to Chinese markets.”

Download the report.

 

中国疫情防控政策与俄乌冲突对欧洲在华企业产生严重影响

      北京,2022年5月5日 – 中国欧盟商会与罗兰贝格今日联合发布关于中国疫情防控政策和俄乌战争对欧洲在华企业所产生的影响的调查报告。结果显示,这两个因素都给欧洲企业的商业运营带来了严重挑战,其中物流业所受的整体影响最大。值得关注的是,中国为遏制疫情而采取的严格防控措施导致23%的受访企业正考虑将现有或计划中的对华投资转移至其他市场。这一结果与2022年初有此想法的企业数量相比,增加了一倍多;这也是过去十年间达到的最高值。另有7%的受访企业表示,俄乌战争导致他们正考虑取消现有或计划中的对华投资。

      2022年,随着国内各地落实更为严格的疫情防控措施,中国已有至少45座城市实施了全面或局部封控,给企业生产经营带来了巨大的不确定性。四分之三的受访企业表示,公司整体运营受到严重影响,主要集中在物流仓储压力、商务旅行暂停以及线下会议取消这三方面,受影响企业分别占94%、97%和94%。

      中国的港口关闭、公路货运量下降以及海运价格飙升等一系列原因导致供应链上下游面临严峻考验,92%的受访企业受到严重影响。

      在中国严格的防控措施下,逾四分之一的欧洲企业遭遇人才流失,流失率最高的行业集中于教育(80%)、法律(46%)、零售(43%)和化妆品(40%)。

      其他主要结果包括以下几点:

  • 六成受访企业预计2022年收入将有所下滑。   
  • 91%的受访企业认为中国应积极推进全民疫苗接种,尤其是提高60岁及以上易感人群和高危人群的疫苗接种率;82%的企业建议,应允许无症状感染者或轻微症状感染者实行居家隔离,以减轻公共医疗系统的压力;82%的受访企业建议国内应推广新冠疫苗序贯加强免疫接种,并早日投入使用mRNA疫苗。
  • 78%的受访企业认为,在国内严格的疫情防控政策下,中国市场作为投资目的地的吸引力下降。
  • 三分之一的受访企业表示,俄乌战争导致中国作为投资目的地的吸引力下降。战争导致的供应链断裂正在进一步加剧企业面临的挑战。近三分之二的受访企业面临往返中欧的物流中断。此外,原材料和能源价格的上涨分别给63%和58%的受访企业带来挑战。

      “我们的会员企业愿意咬紧牙关渡过眼前困难,但如果现状持续下去,更多企业将开始评估替代中国市场的其他方案,”中国欧盟商会主席伍德克表示,“与一个潜力巨大但是不稳定而且供应链濒临瘫痪的市场相比,可预测性强且运作正常的市场更具吸引力。”

      “特别是在乌克兰战争的影响导致整体经济形势严峻的情况下,严厉及具有动态性的疫情政策造成的不确定性阻碍了欧洲企业做出合理商业决策的能力。因此,一个更为清晰的应对危机退出策略,将有助于欧洲商界保持对中国市场的信心。” 罗兰贝格全球管理委员会联席总裁戴璞先生说道。

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