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2010-05-05 | All chapters

Premier Wen Jiabao Meets with European business delegation

President Jacques de Boisseson, Premier Wen Jiabao

Beijing, April 30th, 2010 - The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China warmly welcomes the meeting between Premier Wen Jiabao and a delegation of European business leaders which took place in Beijing on Thursday evening, and hopes that this session heralds the beginning of an era of even deeper engagement between the Chinese government and international business.

The European group, which consisted of representatives of 33 leading European companies, met with the Premier and a number of other ministers to discuss the business leaders' views on, and concerns about the business climate in China. The group was led by the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, who is currently on an official visit to China, and also included EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht. The President of the European Chamber, Jacques de Boisseson, attended the session and addressed the Premier on issues affecting his own company, as well as the broader concerns of European Chamber member companies.

The European Chamber welcomes this important and valuable opportunity for European business to engage in discussion with China's senior leaders on the country's economic future. The European Chamber has long emphasized that healthy dialogue and engagement between the government and the private sector is essential for fostering a sound commercial environment. At the same time, the European Chamber and its members have repeatedly highlighted areas of China's commercial environment where much improvement still needs to be made. The Chamber's most recent Position Paper, released in September 2009, contains over 500 recommendations for such improvements across dozens of industries. The European Chamber has also, in recent months, raised member concerns about urgent issues such as the potential for unfair treatment of foreign-invested Chinese companies under the "Indigenous Innovation" policies, a lack of equal access for foreign-invested companies to government procurement tenders in the renewable energy sector, and worries over potentially protectionist certification processes in the security encryption sector that are due to come into effect on May 1st.

As such, the European Chamber is encouraged by trends in recent weeks that indicate a greater willingness on the part of the government to engage in meaningful dialogue on these and other issues. Earlier in April the State Council announced a number of measures to support and encourage foreign investment in certain sectors, an important and timely signal to foreign businesses that their contribution to China's economy is recognized and valued. At the same time, the European Chamber has been engaged in active discussions with several Ministries on a number of issues of concern to European business, including a close and candid dialogue with the Ministry of Science and Technology on the "Indigenous Innovation" issue.

The European Chamber appreciates these important opportunities to ensure that the views, knowledge and concerns of its members are heard, and looks forward to continuing this dialogue in the future.