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Trade: EU firms seek equal treatment in China PDF Print E-mail
Written by Europe Business Center International   
Friday, 09 September 2011 13:42

EUROPEAN companies in China are confident of a better future after reporting improved business last year, but they still ask for a level playing field because nearly half of them felt they have been treated "unfairly" in the country, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said yesterday.

"As China looks to rebalance its economy, further market opening and the development of the private sector present a formidable opportunity," the chamber said in the European Business in China Position Paper 2011/2012 released yesterday.

"As long as there is a level playing field for enterprises both domestic and foreign, state-owned and private alike, European companies can and would want to continue to play an important role in China's development plans," the paper said.

The paper claimed that European companies continue to face challenges in entering and operating in China because of "unequal implementation and enforcement of the laws."

The chamber said that 46 percent of its members felt they were "discriminated" in China in 2010, up from 36 percent a year earlier.

European companies also demanded more transparency when China drafts laws as this is essential for a stable business environment.

For example, there is usually an 8-week period for public consultation in the EU before a regulation takes effect. In China, the average time given for feedback is only 21 days, with the shortest just 8 days, the paper said.

The paper suggested China continue to boost market access, improve regulatory efficiency and encourage innovation via intellectual property rights protection.

China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) promotes industrial upgrading, developing services, encouraging innovation and green development as key economic goals.