Pol­lu­tion, un­clear reg­u­la­tions ma­jor hur­dles for US firms

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - ByMUCHEN muchen@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Chronic air pol­lu­tion and un­clear reg­u­la­tions are the ma­jor ob­sta­cles for most of the United States-based com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing in China, a sur­vey said onWed­nes­day.

Of the 477 com­pa­nies that par­tic­i­pated in the an­nual busi­ness cli­mate sur­vey con­ducted by the Amer­i­can Cham­ber of Com­merce in China, 53 per­cent said that they ex­pe­ri­enced dif­fi­cul­ties in hir­ing se­nior ex­ec­u­tives to work in China be­cause of the coun­try’s chronic air pol­lu­tion.

This is the first time that air pol­lu­tion has been cited as a rea­son by most of the com­pa­nies that have par­tic­i­pated in the sur­vey’s 17-year his­tory.

This year’s re­port, con­ducted in part­ner­ship with Bain & Co, also said that 65 per­cent of the com­pa­nies con­sid­ered non-trans­par­ent, un­clear and in­con­sis­tent reg­u­la­tions as the great­est bar­rier for their abil­ity and will­ing­ness to in­vest in China.

James Zim­mer­man, chair­man of Am­Cham China, said: “Mem­ber com­pa­nies are com­mit­ted to the mar­ket, but con­tinue to weather a chal­leng­ing busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment as China con­tin­ues on a path of eco­nomic re­form and sus­tain­able devel­op­ment.”

Reg­u­la­tory con­cerns were high­lighted as in­con­sis­tent and un­clear reg­u­la­tions were found to be the sec­ond-big­gest busi­ness chal­lenge, af­ter la­bor costs. About 57 per­cent of the re­spon­dents felt for­eign firms were be­ing tar­geted in in­ves­ti­ga­tions over pric­ing, anti-mo­nop­oly and anti-cor­rup­tion probes by reg­u­la­tory au­thor­i­ties.

“Our com­pa­nies ap­pre­ci­ate the com­plex­i­ties and dif­fi­cul­ties that the Chi­nese lead­er­ship is con­fronted with as it bal­ances its econ­omy and im­ple­ments its re­forms,” said Zim­mer­man. “Nev­er­the­less, much work lies ahead for all of us this year and be­yond as the Chi­nese econ­omy con­tin­ues to ma­ture.”

While Chi­nese com­pa­nies have been mak­ing head­lines for their global hunt for in­vest­ment projects and ac­qui­si­tions, a slew of trou­bled over­seas deals have ex­posed in­creas­ing risks and po­ten­tial losses be­hind th­ese high-pro­file cases, ex­perts said.

OnWed­nes­day, the­Mex­i­can

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