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15th Aug 2022

Study: EU firms shut out of $1 trillion Chinese market

  • Shanghai: EU firms feel shut out from Chinese infrastructure projects (Photo: stuck_in_customs)

A new study has reinforced longstanding concerns that foreign companies are being denied access to China's vast public procurement market, valued at roughly $1 trillion.

The report by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China on Wednesday (20 April) said "fragmented, inconsistent, and unevenly implemented" rules surrounding bidding processes were acting as de facto barriers to the firms.

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While some improvements have been made, the nationwide application of Chinese bidding rules is still far from complete, said the chamber.

"They should have better implementation," said the organisation's chairman, Gilbert van Kerckhove.

"We are not naive. We know at times there are going to be protectionist measures, but this has nothing really to do with China's bidding law," he added.

EU officials have frequently complained about the perceived access problem, with an EU trade strategy paper last year proposing a retaliatory mechanism to cut off Chinese firms from EU procurement markets. Legislation is likely to follow this year.

China's leaders has repeated said that European firms are given fair treatment however.

Beijing's mass stimulus plan in 2009 has made the Asian powerhouse economy one of the world largest public procurement markets.

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