This episode contains segments on the European Chamber’s second EU Tour of 2023, the Chamber’s statement on Li Keqiang’s passing, China’s manufacturing and services activity in October and the drop in profits at China’s larger industrial firms. From the Chamber’s side: join us on 3rd November online or in person in Beijing for the third event of Battling it out – Decoding the Global Industrial Strategy Race event series, during which experts will conduct a detailed examination of the EU’s, China’s and the US’ approach to developing clean technologies and becoming world leaders in this area through their respective industrial policy initiatives.
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Official PMI, October (in Chinese)
Industrial profits, January-July (in Chinese)
European Chamber event
Battling it out – Decoding the Global Industrial Strategy Race: Clean Tech and Low Carbon Future
XINHE: Hello and welcome to China Shortcuts,
XINHE: On 26th October, the European Chamber co-hosted an event in Brussels with the China Chamber of Commerce to the EU, with the two sides exchanging views on the future of EU-China cooperation.
MARIANN: The event, which was the second roundtable dialogue that the two chambers co-hosted, was attended by about eighty guests from business and politics. Industry representatives from both sides presented the issues they are facing in the respective markets they operate in, and discussed potential areas where cooperation can be enhanced in the future. The event was organised as part of the European Chamber’s second EU tour of 2023. During the last week of October, 27 delegates from the European Chamber conducted over 50 meetings with stakeholders from the European Parliament, the European Commission as well as Brussels-based think tanks, partners and media. Following the trip to Brussels, Chamber President Jens Eskelund and other Chamber representatives also held meetings in several other European capitals, including Berlin and Paris.
XINHE: China’s former Premier Li Keqiang passed away on 26th October in Shanghai, at the age of 68. He served as the Premier of China’s State Council between 2013 and 2023.
MARIANN: The European Chamber is deeply saddened by the passing of former Premier Li Keqiang, who was an important interlocutor for the foreign business community. He was a pragmatic, forward-thinking man who placed great importance on the reform and opening of China’s economy. On the occasions that the European Chamber had the privilege to meet with him, he always paid close attention to the concerns of European companies operating in China.
XINHE: The rebound of China’s manufacturing activity did not prove to be long-lasting, as after only one month of increase, the official manufacturing purchasing manager’s index or PMI indicated contraction again in October.
MARIANN: Data released by China’s statistics bureau on 31st October revealed that despite expectations that the recovery in manufacturing activity would continue in October, the PMI dipped under the 50-point benchmark separating growth from contraction. A breakdown of the data based on company size showed that activity weakened at companies of all sizes, with only large manufacturing firms still able to maintain growth in October. Subindices showed that while production still expanded, new orders faltered.
The non-manufacturing PMI remained in expansion territory but indicated the weakest growth of the year thus far. Activity in the construction sector increased at a much slower pace than in September, but still maintained more momentum than the growth in services activity, which was the most modest recorded since China’s reopening in January.
XINHE: Profits at China’s larger industrial firms dropped 9 per cent year-on-year in the January-September period, according to data published by the National Bureau of Statistics on 30th October.
MARIANN: The rate of decline was not as pronounced as in the first eight months of 2023, and it was the most moderate all year. A breakdown of the data based on companies’ ownership structure showed that in the first nine months of the year, equity owned industrial firms have made the most profits in absolute terms, and the profits of state-owned industrial companies fell the most compared to last year.
XINHE: Faced with an increasingly unstable geopolitical and economic environment, industrial policy has become a core component on the agenda for the world’s three largest economies – the United States, China and the European Union. Their strategies and regulations on renewable and low-carbon energy technologies, raw materials and technologies of the future are likely to result in profound implications for global supply and value chains while reshaping industries, especially high-technology sectors such as semiconductors.
MARIANN: The European Chamber has launched an event series on the ongoing global race in industrial strategy, in order to decode its implications on the outlook for both geopolitics and trade, as well as how it may impact the corporate strategies of multinational companies.
XINHE: Join us on 3rd November online or in person in Beijing for the third event of this series, during which experts will conduct a detailed examination of the EU’s, China’s and the US’ approach to developing clean technologies and becoming world leaders in this area through their respective industrial policy initiatives.
MARIANN: Thanks for listening. Tune in again next week.
XINHE: In the meantime, please find useful links in the episode notes.