The Finnish Chamber of Commerce has harsh words for China’s business environment: “The market is shrinking because of ideology”


For the Chinese state, political ideology is now more important than the economy, and because of that foreign investments in China are unlikely to increase, the annual publication of the European China Chamber of Commerce states

China’s modernization helped ensure stability in the business environment, promoted economic growth and facilitated huge inflows of foreign direct investment, but now ideology is winning over the economy, the document says.

“European companies are still eager to participate in China’s economic development, but investments in the country are unlikely to increase when China keeps its doors closed and companies see political, economic and reputational risks increasing,” said the German president of the chamber of commerce Jörg Wuttke.

According to Wuttke, companies also want transparency in the business environment, as they now have to adapt their operations in China both to the companies’ own operations and to the new supply chain legislation in the European Union and the United States.

Several international companies have reported difficulties in keeping and recruiting foreign employees due to China’s coronavirus restrictions.

With around 1,700 members and nine different offices, the chamber of commerce annually publishes several documents on China’s business environment from various fields. The Chamber of Commerce has been in operation since 2000.

35 working groups were preparing the annual document. According to the Chamber of Commerce, the document contains 967 constructive proposals to improve China’s business environment.

China investments on the rise

China’s response to the report came late on Wednesday, when a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry answered a question on the subject at the Foreign Ministry’s daily press conference.

Spokesman Wang Wenbin said China had taken note of the report. However, he pointed out that according to official Chinese statistics, in the first eight months of the year, European countries are one of the fastest growing sources of investment in China.

News agency Bloomberg’s according to the European Union countries’ investments in China increased by 15 percent in the first half of 2022 compared to the previous year. Investments from Europe, however, are concentrated in a handful of large, mostly German companies.

Wang also reminded that China was the first major economy in the world to grow its economy after the outbreak of the pandemic, which provided a good business environment for foreign companies.

“All things considered, China’s coronavirus measures have worked best and been the most cost-effective,” Wang said.

“We hope that relevant parties, including Europe, will provide an open, transparent and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies as well,” Wang noted.

By Editor

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