By Steve Toloken, Plastics News Staff
Guangzhou, China -- China is moving too slowly to open its markets and in some cases has added barriers for foreign companies in the last year, according to a new report from the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, the largest European business group in the country.
The EU Chamber's annual lobbying report, its 12th, said that China has made some improvements and it argued that European companies can help China with the goals of its new Five-Year Plan, such as industrial upgrading, green technology and developing the services sector.
But the Beijing-based chamber's report said foreign companies are still not treated equally in China in both written laws and implementation, and it raised questions about what it said are recent steps that further limit China's market to foreign firms.
Speaking at a 13 Sept presentation in Guangzhou, EU Chamber president Davide Cucino pointed to new rules in China's "Catalogue of Industries For Guiding Foreign Investment" that now limit foreign companies making auto parts for new-energy vehicles to a maximum of a 50 percent stake in joint ventures.
He also said there are concerns about technology transfer requirements in areas like wind energy, along with broad restrictions on service industries like banks and telecom companies.
"We do not want preferential treatment," he said. "We look for equal treatment."