The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China released an annual position paper today, urging China to accelerate reforms. The paper described the widening gap of the maturing economy and the shortcomings of reforms and opening agenda as “reform deficit”. Such reform deficit is seen as the “root cause” of tensions in the global economic tensions which resulted in the US-China trade war. And, “the strong reaction from the United States with its escalation of tariffs is, albeit undesirable, a direct response to these deficiencies, many of them longstanding.”

The paper examines 14 common concerns faced by European companies. These issues “continue to hold back China’s development and prevent businesses from serving their core function”. And the paper urged that “each of these issues should be viewed by Chinese officials as a challenge to overcome in the years ahead.”

The areas of concerns include access to licenses, complex and lengthy administrative procedures, consultation and communication, cybersecurity, IPR and R&D, overlapping regulations and interdepartmental coordination, market access barriers, SOE-related issues, standards setting, transparency issues, unclear regulations and unpredictable enforcement, unequal and unfair treatment, unfair procurement systems and SMEs. The 33-page paper listed out a accumulative total of 828 recommendations.

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The press statement and full report can be found here.

Well… isn’t it “lead by example” that the US administration has to learn from?

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