“Our members felt the regulatory climate has failed to keep pace with China’s growth, and there’s growing economic nationalism that’s of concern to us,” said Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, which represents about 1,300 companies operating in the country. “In general we have the feeling that the reform process has slowed down.”
Releasing its annual position paper, the chamber said China had made progress by relaxing rules governing banking and transportation, reducing overlap between government ministries and improving oversight of the energy sector. But foreign companies are still often barred from participating in bodies that set industry standards and from receiving lucrative business contracts, according to the report.
Most European companies remain optimistic about their prospects in China, thanks to its continued economic growth and increasing ties with the outside world, Mr. Wuttke said. But they are also concerned by regulations and trade barriers that keep the China market from living up to its potential.