12th July 2023: Ministry of Commerce roundtable, China-EU Climate Dialogue

This episode contains roundtable discussion with foreign companies in healthcare-related industries held by the Ministry of Commerce, with comments from Annie Yin, chair of the European Chamber’s Healthcare Equipment working group; the fourth China-EU High Level Dialogue on Environment and Climate in Beijing; China’s producer and consumer price index in June; and a symposium on economic situation chaired by Chinese Premier Li Qiang. From the Chamber side, President Jens Eskelund went on a two-day visit to Brussels to meet European stakeholders.

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Readmore:

MOFCOM roundtable with foreign companies in healthcare-related industries:

http://www.mofcom.gov.cn/article/xwfb/xwbldhd/202307/20230703420104.shtml

Fourth EU-China High-Level Environment and Climate Dialogue:

https://climate.ec.europa.eu/news-your-voice/news/readout-fourth-eu-china-high-level-environment-and-climate-dialogue-2023-07-04_en

June CPI/PPI (in Chinese):

http://www.stats.gov.cn/sj/sjjd/202307/t20230710_1941149.html

Li Qiang holds symposium on economic situation:

https://english.www.gov.cn/news/202307/07/content_WS64a747f7c6d0868f4e8dd8f6.html

Transcript:

RUI: Hello and welcome to China Shortcuts,

MARIANN: the European Chamber’s weekly catchup on China’s business landscape.

(MUSIC)

RUI: On 5th July, China’s Ministry of Commerce held a roundtable discussion with representatives of foreign companies in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries.

MARIANN: At the meeting, Chinese Minister of Commerce, Wang Wentao highlighted that as part of its efforts to modernise and promote high-level opening up, China has put increased emphasis on attracting foreign investments and pledged to further improving its business environment. The business community welcomes these intentions, as well as the Chinese government’s willingness to listen to industries’ concerns. However, in order to rebuild investor confidence, tangible steps need to be taken to address the issues raised by foreign companies operating in the country.

RUI: Commenting on the importance of the roundtable discussion for foreign companies in the relevant industries is Annie Yin, chair of the European Chamber’s Healthcare Equipment working group.

ANNIE YIN: As employees of foreign-funded enterprises in China, we deeply feel that the Chinese government has put attracting foreign investment in a more important position. The forum for foreign-funded enterprises hosted by the Ministry of Commerce, is a very good platform. At this forum on foreign investment in the pharmaceutical industry, enterprises exchanged views on 25 issues, such as finding Negative List access for pharmaceuticals, the establishment of medical insurance catalogues, the establishment of protection and innovation mechanisms and the standards for localised production of imported products.

(MUSIC)

RUI: On 4th July, the fourth China-EU High Level Dialogue on Environment and Climate was held in Beijing, with the two sides agreeing to further deepen their cooperation on climate mitigation.

MARIANN: Among other topics, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans and Chinese Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang discussed potential new areas for the joint fight against climate change, and proposed to further enhance bilateral coordination on multiple levels and across various departments of government.

Upon Executive Vice-President Timmermans’ arrival to Beijing, Gianni Di Giovanni, States’ Representative of the European Chamber’s Executive Committee presented to him some of the key issues experienced by European companies in energy, environment and carbon market sectors, as well as the areas in which EU-China cooperation can be deepened so that China can frontload the technologies it needs to accelerate its carbon neutrality drive.

(MUSIC)

RUI: China’s producer price index dropped to the lowest level in over seven years in June, after declining for the ninth consecutive month.

MARIANN: The prices producers charge at the factory gate fell 5.4 per cent year-on-year in June, indicating a steeper-than-expected decline. The rate of contraction picked up speed from May, and was accelerating for the sixth month in a row. The National Bureau of Statistics listed high commodity prices and a relatively high base from last year as key factors behind the data. However, the index also showed decline on a month-on-month basis, while the comparative base from a year earlier actually softened from May to June. 

At the same time, consumer prices stagnated in June, remaining unchanged from the same period a year ago. The monthly comparison even showed a slight decline from May.

(MUSIC)

RUI: On 6th July, Chinese Premier Li Qiang chaired a symposium to listen to suggestions from experts on China’s economic recovery.

MARIANN: While the Premier concluded that China has stable foundations for sustaining growth, he also acknowledged the need for targeted measures for stabilising growth and employment. He also called for mechanisms to ensure regular communication between government and the business community, saying that on-the-ground feedback can help informing policymakers about the right adjustments to make in order to improve market confidence.

(MUSIC)

RUI: At the end of June, European Chamber President Jens Eskelund went on a two-day visit to Brussels to meet European stakeholders and present the key findings of the Chamber’s recently released Business Confidence Survey 2023.

MARIANN: Among others, President Eskelund discussed recent trends and developments in China’s regulatory and business environment with Stefano Sannino, Secretary General of the European External Action Service. At a meeting with Kerstin Jorna, Director General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Industry, Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, President Eskelund shared views on de-risking from a business perspective.

RUI: For more information on the meetings and the European Chamber’s advocacy in Europe, please visit the Chamber’s official WeChat account.

(MUSIC)

MARIANN: Thanks for listening. Tune in again next week.

RUI: In the meantime, please find useful links in the episode notes.

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