Each year representatives of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China present the European Business in China Position Paper to European Union institutions in Brussels and cities of other Member States. Europe is placing increasing importance on the Position Paper with each passing year and, as a result, the level of access to government officials is also improving. This time around we enjoyed our first meeting with the European Commission President, José Manuel Durão Barroso, three Vice Presidents of the Commission, and also met with the European External Action Service and the European Council for the first time.
Between September and November 2012, the Chamber visited cities in 12 different Member States.
A delegation composed of 28 people and led by President Davide Cucino went to Brussels from the 17th to the 21st September. The delegation included Vice Presidents Jens Ruebbert and Bruno Gensburger, State Representative Dr Roland Savoy, Executive Member Ninette Dodoo, Tianjin Chapter Chairman Gabriele Castaldi, Member of Shanghai Board Stefan Sack, Secretary General Dirk Moens and the General Manager of the Beijing Chapter, Jaspal Channa.
During the five-day trip to the Belgian capital the delegation took part in around 45 meetings. These included high- and working-level meetings with officials from the different EU institutions, and also with industry associations. This year the delegates had the opportunity to meet with:
- José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission
- Joaquín Almunia, Vice President and Commissioner for Competition
- Siim Kallas, Vice President and Commissioner for Transportation and Mobility
- Neelie Kroes, Vice President and Commissioner for Digital Agenda
- Karel De Gucht, Commissioner for Trade
- John Dalli, Commissioner for Health and Consumers
- Connie Hedegaard, Commissioner for Climate Action
- David O’Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer, EU Diplomatic Corps, European External Action Service
- Jean-Luc Demarty, Director-General for Trade
- Olivier Guersen, Head of Commissioner Michel Barnier’s Cabinet, Directorate-General for Internal Market
- Cabinets of Commissioners for Research, Technology and Development, Environment and Enterprise and Industry
- Cabinet of President Herman Van Rompuy, European Council
- The European Parliament, Delegation for Relations with P.R. China
- Dinner with PRC Ministry of Finance and AQSIQ
In addition the delegation met with the newly appointed PRC Ambassador to the European Union, HE Wu Hailong.
A large-scale event address to the business community in Brussels was held with the cooperation of the Flandres-China Chamber of Commerce, BusinessEurope and the EU-China Business Association. The speakers for this event were President Davide Cucino and Commissioner Karel De Gucht. They also got the chance to participate in the ‘Mayor’s Forum Themed Event: EU-China Sustainable Urbanisation Park – From Concept to Reality’.
On the 20th September, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China participated in the 8th EU-China Business Summit with a speech from President Davide Cucino and a lunch meeting with John Farnell, Director and Principle Advisor at the Directorate-Generale for Enterprise and Industry.
On the 21st September, the delegation of the European Chamber met the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Belgium for the first time in order to present the Position Paper 2012/2013, discuss the business environment in China and also the challenges and opportunities that European businesses face in the Chinese market.
The Executive Committee member Ninette Dodoo and Secretary General Dirk Moens presented the European Business in China Position Paper in Luxembourg for the first time on the 19th September. During this visit they met with the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, companies with operations in China, members of the Luxembourg press and with representatives from the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
On 22nd September, a European Chamber delegation Led by Vice President Jens Ruebbert visited London. The trip included a roundtable with the United Kingdom Government, meetings with Mark Boleat, Policy Chairman of the City of London and Lord Peter Mandelson.
Vice President Bruno Gensburger led the visit to France on 20th September. In Paris, they delivered a presentation to the Comité France-Chine of MEDEF (French Federation of Entreprises), met representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also Mr Wu Xilin, Ministre-Conseiller in charge of trade and economic issues at the PRC Consulate.
On 20th September a Chamber Delegation led by States Representative Dr Roland Savoy presented the Position Paper to a group of companies and business associations in Berlin at the invitation of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) in Berlin. The delegation was welcomed by Dr Volker Treier, Deputy Chief Executive and Managing Director of International and Economic Affairs. Dr Treier introduced the events and moderated a lively discussion.
On 21st September, Shanghai Board Member Stefan Sack and Shanghai Chapter General Manager Ioana Kraft visited the Düsseldorf Chamber of Commerce in Germany and met with the Deputy Executive Director and Director of the International Business Division, Gerhard Eschenbaum, as well as representatives of the Düsseldorf China Competence Centre. The discussion covered some of the challenges faced by European businesses in China as well as those faced by Chinese businesses in Germany.
On 25th September, Shanghai Board Member Stefan Sack and Shanghai Chapter General Mananger Ioana Kraft presented the Position Paper 2012-2013 to a group of Austrian companies and Business Associations in Vienna. The presentation was organised by the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKO). It was the first time that a European Chamber Delegation had visited the Austrian capital to present the Position Paper.
On 28th September, Secretary General Dirk Moens presented the Position Paper for the first time in Portugal hosted by Associação Comercial de Lisboa (ACL) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also participated in a meeting organised by the European Council of Foreign Relations and Fundacao Oriente on China Strategy Group with the participation of Mark Vanheukelen and Cabinet of European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.
The European Chamber visited Prague for the second time. On 1st October, President Davide Cucino met with with HE Yu Qingtai, PRC Ambassador, held a press conference, met with Milan Hovorka, Vice Minister of Industry and Trade, and participated in a reception with the Czech business community. On the 2nd October, President Cucino delivered a presentation to the SMEs China Investment Forum with 150 representatives of the Czech business community in attendance.
The European Chamber presented the European Business Position Paper for the first time in Slovenia on 3rd October. President Davide Cucino met with HE Mr Karel Erjavec, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, and also with Mr Radovan Žerjav, Minister of Economic Development and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia. He also participated in a large-scale event organised by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia and finally met with a group of CEOs of Slovenian companies based in China.
President Davide Cucino, Tianjin Chapter Chairman Gabriele Castaldi and Shanghai Chapter Board member Stefan Sack presented the Position Paper at an event organised with the collaboration of Fondazione Italia-Cina and Assolombarda on 5th October. Over 120 people attended.
Shanghai Chapter Chairman Piter De Jong presented the Position Paper to the Director General Simon Smits of the Ministry of Economic affairs, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW).
By Xavier Sans Powell