European Chamber Annual General Meeting 2022

A year of advocacy successes, high-level meetings and growth

The European Union (EU) Chamber of Commerce in China’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2022 took place online on Thursday, 26th May. A by-election was also held for members to elect a new treasurer to serve on the Chamber’s Executive Committee.

Ms Xiaobo Zhang from TotalEnergies was elected as treasurer and will serve until the close of the term in 2023. In her acceptance speech, she said she plans to “seamlessly connect and integrate into the existing committee team”.

As the Chamber’s AGM was being held completely online this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, a ‘Meet the Candidates’ event—also online—was held the previous week on 20th May so members could hear directly from the treasurer candidates on their motivations for running, and ask them questions directly.

EU Ambassador to China and the Honourary President of the Chamber HE Nicolas Chapuis delivered a keynote speech on the latest EU-China developments. Ambassador Chapuis said “That is why the voice of the European Chamber, its advocacy role, its remarkable network across the country, reaching out on a regular basis with local and central Chinese officials, are a core asset of the EU-China relationship. In one year, the Chamber will have to take up the challenge to elect a new leadership. I call on you all, companies and member states alike, to put forward candidates that can fulfil this role, which is more vital now than ever.”

HE Chapuis also addressed the impact of the Shanghai lockdown on business sentiment, as well as other concerns. As his term is shortly coming to an end, he said “I did not expect to end mission in Beijing on such gloomy, dreary notes”, adding that he would like to thank the Chamber for seconding the EU Delegation’s work and activities over the years. Chamber President Jörg Wuttke expressed his gratitude for the ambassador’s engagement with the Chamber over the last three years, including with each individual chapter. Chamber Secretary General Adam Dunnett seconded this, saying HE Chapuis “spoke truth to power” during his term.

European Commission Executive Vice President (EVP) Valdis Dombrovskis sent his greetings to the Chamber’s AGMcvideo speech. Notably, EVP Dombrovskis said that “not engaging with China is not an option”. He also spoke about “the departure of foreign business leaders from China [as] a worrying trend”, and highlighted “the important role of international business leaders as a bridge [between European and China]”. He also recognised the important role played by the European Chamber, saying, “Your Position Paper from last year, as well as the recently released survey on COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine, provide valuable insights.”

EVP Dombrovskis’ full video address is available to view on the Chamber’s website.

President Jörg Wuttke presented the Annual Report 2021 and outlined the priorities that lie ahead. In 2021, the Chamber reached a record number of 38 Advisory Council members and over 1,800 members, and continued to provide strong advocacy on behalf of European business in China. President Wuttke noted that the Chamber was selected as the only foreign business delegation to meet with China’s Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao in person.

The chairs from the Chamber’s six local chapters also participated in the AGM, and presented the key achievements of their respective chapters in 2021. Common highlights across all chapters were increases in membership, which the local chairs cited as evidence the chapters’ activities are valued by European businesses in China; and the number of government dialogues and high-level meetings in 2021, showing that Chinese government officials also consider the Chamber a voice to be listened to.

The Chamber thanked outgoing treasurer, Marko Tulus from, for his commitment and engagement as a member of the Executive Committee, also noting his participation as a mentor in the Chamber’s Cross-industry Mentor Initiative and taking over the Chamber’s Chief Financial Officer Roundtable events from his predecessor.

Mr Tulus joined the AGM online from Finland in order to perform his final task of delivering the financial report for 2021. He noted that despite the disruptions to normal operations caused by COVID-19 in 2021, and the loss of some EU projects, the Chamber maintained a steady balance sheet due to its increase in membership. Mr Tulus said this financial stability will ensure the Chamber is able to continue in its role as the representative of European business in China.

 Please click here to download the Annual Report 2021 to review the Chamber’s work.