Business Confidence Survey 2020


The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, in cooperation with Roland Berger, will release its European Business in China Business Confidence Survey 2020 on 10th June. For the first time ever, the BCS Launch will be conducted online to offer the opportunity for media partners and all members to participate.

Many of the initial findings of the survey, conducted in February 2020, painted an outlook for 2020 that no longer accurately represent the views of the vast majority of member companies that have endured a tumultuous first half of the year. However, survey respondents have provided extensive data pinpointing underlying issues that fall under the control of the Chinese Government.

The COVID-19 outbreak is further exacerbating many problems, but none more so than the strengthening of SOEs as a misperceived source of stability in uncertain times. The insufficient liberalisation of the Chinese market results in China moving towards a ‘One Economy, Two Systems’ model: on one side, market forces and modern regulatory mechanisms look increasingly international; on the other, critical sectors of the economy are dominated by state-owned national champions, while private enterprises are at best stifled or at worst forced out of the market entirely.

Join the launch event of the European Chamber to hear more about these and other topics. Vice President Charlotte Roule will present the key findings of the 2020 BCS, which will be followed by a panel discussion and questions from the audience. Unfortunately, due to public health measures, this event will be organized online this year. Please register and pay in advance to ensure your attendance.

Register here.

Business Confidence Survey 2019


This year’s Business Confidence Survey contrasts China’s lagging regulatory reform and remnants of its former economic model with the increasingly firm commitment that European companies hold toward the mature and vibrant Chinese market.

While a few areas saw progress, China’s reform agenda has failed to proceed at a pace that will meet the expectations of European business. A large majority of members expect regulatory obstacles to, at worst, increase significantly over the next five years or, at best, remain the same. Meanwhile, State-owned enterprises are present in more than two-thirds of the economy, and are dominant in key sectors. Furthermore, a fifth of members report feeling compelled to transfer technology as a condition for market access, with many of these transfers having taken place in 2018.

These difficult conditions are hardly welcoming for European companies in China. However, in spite of such challenges, European firms still saw revenue growth and strong EBIT, all while further boosting their competitiveness. European commitment to the market remains high with a healthy majority reporting that China remains a top three destination for investment, in no small part as a result of the vibrant and innovative private sector.

Eager to improve the business environment in which they operate, European companies are redoubling their advocacy efforts. It is imperative that China accelerate its reform agenda and reduce the regulatory burden while providing a level playing field for all companies. This is especially important to achieve now, as the rise of macro-economic challenges like the global and Chinese slowdowns intersect with the consequences of the US-China Trade War. These burdens can be offset by creating an open, fair and well-regulated market that will attract further investment and give companies the room to navigate the challenging waters ahead.

Read English press release and Chinese press release.

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