73% European companies willing to expand business in S. China

Recently, the European Chamber of Commerce in China launched the European Business in China Business Confidence Survey 2024 along with Roland Berger in Shenzhen. According to the survey, 45% of European companies surveyed feel that the market in their industry has become more open.

In terms of South China, 73% of respondents expressed a willingness to expand their current business activities in South China. Additionally, 61% of the European businesses surveyed described doing business in South China as easier, showcasing the region’s favorable business environment. Respondents witnessed that the business environment had also improved, with 82% finding it easier to register businesses and 35% finding it easier to deal with construction permits.

Moreover, the survey points out that respondents expect the most improvement in Guangdong’s coordination among different departments and access to English-language information.

At the press conference for this launch, Klaus Zenkel, Vice President of the European Chamber of Commerce in China and Chair of the South China Chapter, also shared insights on the pivotal role of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and his expectation of the upcoming opening of the Shenzhen-Zhongshan Link.

During his presentation, Zenkel emphasized the significance of the Greater Bay Area, particularly Shenzhen, often dubbed as China’s Silicon Valley. He highlighted the region’s allure for tech enthusiasts and the increasing demand for skilled labor, crucial for the automation drive. Notably, collaborative efforts among vocational schools, European chambers of commerce and universities underscored the commitment to nurturing talent and propelling industrial growth within the area.

Zenkel said, “There’s strong growth potential that this Greater Bay Area can attract more business. Many European companies have been here for 10 years plus. So, they like the environment; they like the infrastructure. With the support of different cities in the Greater Bay Area, the business environment is very good.”

The Shenzhen-Zhongshan Link is set to open to traffic in June 2024. In his opinion, it will greatly benefit the Greater Bay Area’s logistics landscape. The connectivity between Shenzhen and Zhongshan is poised to facilitate goods transportation between the east and west Pearl River, which can significantly reduce travel time and enhance efficiency.

Having been to Nansha previously, Zenkel also mentioned the influence of the infrastructure in this area. The Shenzhen-Zhongshan Link, connected by the Wanqingsha connection line, leads to seamless access to Shenzhen, Zhongshan and Guangzhou. With the opening of the Link, travel time from Nansha to downtown Zhongshan is expected to be reduced to less than 15 minutes, while travel time to Shenzhen will be shortened to under 20 minutes. “In general, it is a good infrastructure improvement,” said Zenkel.

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