European Union Chamber of Commerce Wants Better Market Access in China

The European Union or EU Chamber of Commerce calls out China to carry out promises of less restrictive market and give significance to the need of a level playing field. China is a key global market for autos, smartphones, cosmetics, medical supplies and other goods.

According to EU Chamber’s report, imposing new restrictions on food imports, express delivery and legal services are some of the areas that Beijing is backtracking on. The business organization proposes possible changes for better access towards the state-dominated economy or unbarring foreign competitors from a wide range of fields from finance to utilities.

A business group urged China on Tuesday to carry out promises to open its economy and warned that inaction might fuel a backlash against free trade amid mounting U.S. and European criticism.

“The current lack of reciprocity in market access is becoming politically unsustainable,” Mats Harborn, the European chamber president, stated at a news conference.

The European government will have a difficult time convincing their countries with the beneficial contribution of trade and investments when China’s restrictions arise populist views against globalization. “We are worried that if this is not quickly changed, there will be a backlash against economic globalization,” he added.

Criticisms mount as the world’s major economies prepares for the next G20 summit which, China will be hosting.

EU Chamber’s ‘Promise Fatigue’

In the recent years, China’s President Xi Jinping had publicly showcased his vows towards openness and globalization with public speeches. The country’s state council has also released a document on measures to promote fair, open markets at the beginning of the year but the continued inaction had raised doubts among critics.

EU Chamber released a recent paper stating “European business “is suffering from accumulated ‘promise fatigue,’ having witnessed a litany of assurances over recent years that never quite materialized. It appears that in many areas, China is no longer opening up, but selectively closing up.”

In an interview for CNBC, Harborn also voiced out his uncertainty in the event of China’s failure to compromise with its promises pointing out how it prevents their keenness to expand in the country.

“We need to have tangible measures from the Chinese state to show that China is going down the path of more openness.” he stated.

U.S. in Agreement with EU Chamber

In a study of the American Chamber of Commerce in China in January, more than four in five US companies feel the country is less open to foreign businesses than in the previous years.

Beijing is being investigated by American authorities whether it should face penalties for pressuring companies to trade technology in exchange for market access as U.S trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, criticized in a speech in Washington how this can threaten the world trading system.

U.S.-China Business Council conducted a survey earlier where 20 percent of companies that responded were said to have been asked to transfer technology within the previous years.

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