EU firms bullish on nation, says survey

Companies in Europe were confident about China's investment climate and would like to commit further resources to the Chinese market, a report released by a pan-European industry lobby yesterday said.

The European Chamber of Commerce, together with global consulting firm Roland Berger, conducted the Business Confidence Survey 2009.

Almost 98 percent of European companies in China have been negatively impacted by the global financial crisis, and larger ones have been more strongly affected than the smaller ones, the survey report revealed.

Still, China was a key business destination, and 71 percent of the interviewees said the impact has been much less than the downturn in their domestic markets. Nearly 56 percent said more than 5 percent share of their global revenue was generated in China in 2008, 5 percentage points higher than in 2007.

"China is a bright spot and is rising in importance in the global strategy of European companies," said Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Chamber of Commerce in China.

Around 46 percent of the respondents said they believed the crisis "will be over in China by the first half of 2010", faster than the other regions worldwide.

About 62 percent of the respondents said "the stimulus package has played an important role, but more is needed to drive the economy at a sustainable pace".