Ahead of the EU-China Summit, we are excited to speak to Joerg WUTTKE, President Emeritus, European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (EUCCC); Member of the Board, Robert Bosch Internationale Beteiligungen; Member, stars International Board, Beijing.
Europe-China relations ahead of the summit to be held in Beijing in December seem to be at an inflection point, amid a growing frustration in Brussels that “the Chinese system seems incapable of acknowledging our [economic] concerns, let alone addressing them”, as an EU official recently bemoaned. At the same time, China is struggling to bring its post-pandemic economy on a stable and growing trajectory again amid structural challenges that are becoming ever more apparent – most notably the policy-induced real estate sector de-risking. Policy measures adopted by Beijing to counter the negative trend so far remain measured and have not managed to restore confidence among private business and consumers. All the while, Beijing continues to bet on supply-side industrial policies to strengthen domestic industrial capacity and allow its companies to grow to scale, exemplified by the recent going out push of its ambitious NEV manufacturers that eventually prompted the EU Commission to launch an investigation on the grounds of market-distorting subsidies.
Where does China’s post-Covid economic recovery stand? What short- and medium-term scenarios are most likely? How does Beijing see relations with Brussels? How do military conflicts in Ukraine and Israel, the EU’s growing trade deficit with China, elections for EU institutions in 2024, European business sentiment as well as China’s economic cooling weigh on EU-China relations going forward? And what does this all mean European business engaged in China?