European investors and businesses are welcomed by China's domestic market. That's the sentiment from Joerg Wuttke, President of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. CGTN's Omar Khan sat down with him earlier, discussing Beijing and Brussels' ongoing trade deal, environmental protection, and the impact of the current political climate.
JOERG WUTTKE President, EU Chamber of Commerce in China "The base load is positive, of course now the political trappings look pretty much ugly. Again, we tried to have this investment agreement despite American opposition, which we did, and I think it was a major achievement by our leaders, particularly Merkel and President Xi Jinping. So at this stage we are pretty much stuck on the political side. But on the economic side, China has made it very credibly clear to us that actually they want us here more than ever. So again, the base sound is good, it's not that the political negativity translates into problems in the economy."
OMAR KHAN CGTN Reporter "So you look at those Q1 figures, over 18 percent year on year growth, obviously coming off a lower base because of the epidemic last year. For European businesses across China, not just in south China, what is sort of the future going forward? Is there still a sense that this is still the destination for investment, for manufacturing? Are you still seeing more companies coming here, how promising is that for European businesses?"
JOERG WUTTKE President, EU Chamber of Commerce in China "The comeback story of China particularly in May and June last year, was just unbelievable. Many of us had double digit growth in volume as well as in value, and I think without the dividends remitted back home, many of the headquarters would be taking on water. China is in a comeback path, they have a quarter of the U.S. GDP per capita, so there's absolutely no reason to believe that China will not grow over the next years of 4 to 5 percent, in order to narrow that gap. I have great faith in that. Our calculations, China stands for 30 percent of global growth in the next 10 years."
OMAR KHAN CGTN Reporter "Sustainable development, green tech – is one of the most promising areas of cooperation and development. Where can both sides benefit moving forward?"
JOERG WUTTKE President, EU Chamber of Commerce in China "Well, China can definitely benefit from our technological advantages, because we started decades ago with tackling this, and developed technology. And we can definitely benefit from China catching up, we benefit from the Chinese demand story. Just imagine if Xi Jinping's pledge of carbon neutral China 2060 is incorporated, China has to shutdown 660 gigawatts of coal fire powered stations, 660 gigawatts is the entire power fleet of the European Union. So what China pledges is, we shut down the whole of Europe, and do it in renewable within 40 years. Of course there are lots of business opportunities and technology challenges to get there. So we definitely are going to benefit from the demand story, and China can benefit from our advantages developed over the last decades."
OMAR KHAN CGTN Reporter "Hainan Province is meant to be the future. It's a free trade port as a whole, it has plans for 2035 and beyond, just had the Boao Forum for Asia conclude there, so many preferential policies to attract investment and trade. What does that mean for your members and European entrepreneurs?"
JOERG WUTTKE President, EU Chamber of Commerce in China "I think the real story about Hainan is the healthcare equipment and healthcare services sector. Where our companies feel, that China will basically have less people traveling abroad for medical attention, dentists and so forth, and it will do it more in China and Hainan is the proper place to be. So I guess, that for us it's a major business opportunity in the part of China that's going to be the healthcare center in many ways."
Date：April 29, 2021