Survey Says: Most European Firms Plan to stay in China

Now Shenzhen   |   June 27, 2022

IN a recent survey of 106 South China-based member companies of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, 94% of the respondents said they have no plans to move out of South China and 75% said they would like to expand in South China, according to the survey released by the chamber in Shenzhen on Friday.

The chamber conducted the Business Confidence Survey (BCS) 2022 in partnership with global consultancy Roland Berger, Klaus Zenkel, vice president of the chamber and chair of the European Chamber South China Board, told Shenzhen Daily on Friday.

A total of 620 member companies of the European Chamber in China participated in the survey, and among them, 106 are based in South China. The survey has 61 questions on three core themes — company profile and financial performance, outlook on Chinese business environment and outlook on company strategy.

Many member companies of the chamber expressed the need for increased access to policy information in both English and Chinese, according to Zenkel.

“The Greater Bay Area [GBA] has great potential with around 60% of enterprises benefiting from it. However, there is also kind of lack of understanding among the member companies,” he said. “Around 19% of them do not know the GBA’s development plan, while 37% responded that they have not benefited from the GBA yet.”

“There are still areas that can be improved. For instance, more measures could be done to promote the GBA to foreign companies and ensure they are aware of how they can contribute fully to its success. Currently, 56% of the chamber members in South China report that either they are not benefitting from the GBA, or that they are not aware if they are. Members require more policy guidance, with most of them recommending that more information on the GBA be published in English and Chinese and opportunities available under the GBA be properly clarified,” Zenkel said.

When talking about Shenzhen’s business environment, Zenkel said the city is regarded as the new Silicon Valley with diversified advanced industries, including manufacturing, finance and R&D.

“The GBA has great potential to catch up with the other three bay areas [in the world]. The GBA already has well developed logistics infrastructure, with its port and airport clusters, and rail network. This provides enormous potential for efficiently transporting people and goods throughout the region,” Zenkel added.

Fabian Blake, vice chair of the European Chamber South China Board, said more than half of the members benefit directly or indirectly from the GBA’s development plan, and that majority of the respondents are optimistic about the GBA.

However, he told Shenzhen Daily that talent retention is another main concern for them.

“The availability, skilled labor shortages and talent retention still remain big concerns for European companies. So that is still a major point of improvement for the area to be able to thrive. There is a huge demand of talents from companies. For the midterm and long term, if you want to drive innovation, you need to have a very good and solid education system that actually cultivates these talents for generations,” Blake said.

ARTICLE FROM: Shenzhen Daily