News / Asia

Survey: Investor Optimism in China Declines

A worker walks on the roof of an office building construction site in Hefei, Anhui province May 6, 2013. China's economy grew 7.8 percent in 2012, its slowest pace in 13 years.
A worker walks on the roof of an office building construction site in Hefei, Anhui province May 6, 2013. China's economy grew 7.8 percent in 2012, its slowest pace in 13 years.
Shannon Van Sant
Investor confidence in China is declining, according to a survey from the European Union. The report comes on the heels of last week's International Monetary Fund's (IMF) announcement of a cut in China’s economic growth forecast.

The European Union’s Chamber of Commerce polled more than 500 of its members. The results show optimism among Western businessmen about the potential to profit in China is at its lowest point since China first opened to foreign markets.

"This year the results were quite, quite surprising in that there was a clear indication that the financial performance of the companies here have not been as strong as they have been in the past," said Adam Dunnett, secretary-general of the EU chamber.   

The survey, which was carried out in March, showed 64 percent of respondents reported profitability for 2012, down from 73 percent the previous year. Only 29 percent of respondents had a positive outlook for future profitability.  That was also down from 34 percent the year before. The EU report cited market access, labor costs and regulatory hurdles as obstacles to business growth in China.

Mark Secchia, an American owner of Sherpa’s food delivery service in China, says his biggest challenge is increased competition. He opened his company in 1999 and has expanded to four cities across China.

"In one sense it's gotten easier, but that's kind of, in my opinion, made it harder," Secchia said. "[When] I started my business, it was like the wild, wild West and anything goes and, yes, it was difficult to do things, but that was a barrier to entry that kept others away. As things have gotten easier, it's now a worse time to start a business in China because there are so many people doing it and it is so easy to do."

Concerns about China’s continued economic growth also concern Western investors. The nation’s economy grew 7.8 percent in 2012 - its slowest pace in 13 years - and registered a weak 7.7 percent expansion in the first three months of 2013.  

In April, the American Chamber of Commerce released a white paper on China highlighting many of the same challenges for American business owners in China. Still,  Greg Gilligan, chairman of the chamber, remains optimistic.

“If we stand here and look today, and look at actual results, as opposed to perceptions about the future, the actual results say that businesses are doing well and have maintained good performance over recent years," Gilligan said.

Despite slowing economic expansion and other obstacles cited by the EU survey, China remains one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

Key stock indexes in London, Paris and Germany were down nearly three percent, while US market indexes were off around two percent in early trading More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Schneider from: B.R.Deutschland
June 05, 2013 3:09 AM
We foreign businessmen are fed up with China that is a country of greedy people, unethical people, corruption by the local and central leaders, air pollution, contagious diseases, contaminated food and water, no rule for copy right, no respect for international laws, invasions in neighboring countries, and other countless evil matters. Bubble economy and high personnel cost will cause CPR to collapse in the not distant future. No need to stay in China any longer.

by: Mustaky from: France
June 04, 2013 2:54 PM
I have lived in China for the past 5 years and let me tell you... the so called "Arab Spring" is what about to happen in China... the complete and bloody overthrow of the criminal Communist political classes... its in the air... well, that and the stench of death decay and disease...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs