This episode is recorded under unusual circumstance, with your hosts unable to access the European Chamber’s Beijing office although there is no confirmed case in the building.
This episode covers the COVID-19 flare-up in Beijing, with comments from Adam Dunnett, Secretary General of the European Chamber; measures to improve employment among fresh graduates released by the Ministry of Education; and data on China’s actual use of foreign investment in the first ten months of 2022. News from the Chamber includes participation in a high-level roundtable co-hosted by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment and China News Service, where policies and measures related to the construction of China’s carbon market were introduced.
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Ministry of Education’ notice on employment among graduates (in Chinese):
FDI data from the Ministry of Commerce (in Chinese:
High-level roundtable with China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment:
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RUI: Hello and welcome to China Shortcuts,
MARIANN: the European Chamber’s weekly catchup about the Chinese business landscape.
RUI: A new COVID-19 flare-up in Beijing has yet again brought much of the Chinese capital to a standstill, with office buildings either under lockdown or operating with very limited capacity in the central business district and embassy district.
MARIANN: Chaoyang district has seen a sharp rise in daily cases after many office buildings and other venues have been requiring a negative PCR test result from within 24 hours for entry since early November. Despite the recent refinement of pandemic measures, lockdowns and quarantine measures are still in widespread use in Beijing, with local officials caught between the conflicting requirements of decreasing the number of new infections to zero, while minimising disruptions to people’s lives and business operations. Notably, today’s episode was recorded under unusual circumstances, with your hosts unable to access the Beijing office of the European Chamber.
RUI: Sharing his comments on the latest pandemic situation in Beijing is Adam Dunnet, Secretary General of the European Chamber:
ADAM DUNNETT: (Soundbite)
RUI: On the 16th of November, China’s Ministry of Education issued a document outlining measures to improve employment among fresh graduates, after newly released figures showed that among 16–24-year-olds the unemployment rate reached 17.9 per cent in October.
MARIANN: The ministry promised favourable policies for small and medium-sized enterprises so that they can play a bigger role in providing employment opportunities to young jobseekers. Universities were advised to gain better understanding of the job market by enhancing ties with companies and to hold recruitment events to help students connect with employers before graduation. Young people would also be encouraged to pursue self-employment and flexible employment opportunities, and to set up businesses in remote areas. According to official estimates, the number of university graduates in China could exceed 11 million in 2023, growing over 800 thousand from this year.
RUI: According to data released by China’s Ministry of Commerce on the 17th of November, in the first ten months of 2022 the actual use of foreign investment in China exceeded 1 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 14.4 per cent.
MARIANN: The data also indicated that the actual use of foreign capital increased the most in the high-tech manufacturing sector, where a year-on-year rise of 57.2 per cent was registered. Chinese official data on FDI, however, usually includes investments coming from Hong Kong and Macao, with a large proportion of those coming from Chinese companies. Inbound investment flows from the European Union are declining overall, with the bulk contributed by a handful of large companies. As the recent official data showed: actual investment from Germany grew 95.8 per cent year-on-year in the first ten months of this year, but the majority of it was contributed by two large German companies.
RUI: On 16th November, the European Chamber and its member companies joined the high-level roundtable entitled “New journey, Green development”, co-hosted by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment and China News Service. During the meeting, officials from the Ministry introduced policies and measures related to the construction of China’s carbon market.
MARIANN: The hosts underlined China’s commitment to high-level opening up and green development. The European Chamber has been advocating for further strengthening cooperation between the EU and China in the area of decarbonisation, an area in which European companies are especially well-placed to contribute to China’s efforts.
RUI: At the event, officials highlighted that China is ready to strengthen cooperation with European companies in China, to jointly participate in the process of low-carbon and high-quality development, and to promote a ‘green recovery’ of the global economy. Chamber member companies had an in-depth discussion with high-level officials from the Ministry on topics such as environmental cooperation, carbon market construction and green transformation of enterprises.
RUI: Thanks for listening. Tune in again next week.
MARIANN: In the meantime, find useful links in the episode notes.