(CNN) - This week the European Union Chamber of Commerce released this survey on Chinese investor perceptions of Europe.
The study, which drew responses from 74 Chinese enterprises that have already invested in the EU, found that a full 97% would make future investments in the region; however 78% of those surveyed said they faced operational difficulties, mostly related to bureaucracy and high costs.
Pauline Chiou, CNN’s World Business Today anchor, spoke with Davide Cucino for his own reflections on the survey. The President of the European Union Chamber of Commerce said a transparent regulatory framework, good opportunities for merger and acquisition operations and a large market of 500 million potential consumers makes Europe an “ideal place to do business”.
While China demands more than a 50% stake in any Western company that sets up operations in Asia’s largest economy, the EU’s Cucino says the business environment of Europe will be “resiliently open”.
Hong Kong (CNN) – Forget the red-hot property market of mainland China - a new forecast says investors should be looking south.
Jakarta - Indonesia's burgeoning capital of nearly 10 million people - is predicted to be Asia's top real estate market in 2013, ahead of cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney in "Emerging Trends in Real Estate - Asia Pacific 2013," a real estate forecast released this week by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the Washington D.C.-based Urban Land Institute.
The recommendation to buy into Jakarta-based property may raise eyebrows, but PriceWatershouseCoopers says Indonesia's economic turnaround over the past few years has impressed international investors.
"Interest rates and inflation are under control, and while GDP is growing at around 6.5% annually, foreign direct investment is increasing at a much higher rate—39% in the first half of this year," the survey said. "Driven by increased demand from foreigners and locals alike, office rents shot up 29% year-on-year in the third quarter, according to (property services firm) DTZ."
Shanghai (CNN) - The only souvenir that Xie Jinghua has from her stay at a Holiday Inn Express located in a vast tourism park alongside the East China Sea is a room key.
The 52-year-old said she was not able to buy any of the beach toys in the lobby, walk around a lake nearby, or enjoy the ocean just outside of her window. Xie was there, she said, because she was forced to be – held in a hotel room for eight days after she and her 56-year-old husband, Ma Haiming, traveled to Beijing in March to protest the compensation they were given for the demolition of the family's farmhouse to make way for the expansion of Shanghai's PudongInternationalAirport in 2005. When the couple arrived in Beijing, Xie said they were picked up by plain clothes police and forced to travel hundreds of miles back to Shanghai, then held separately at the hotel.
"I really felt quite sick inside," said Xie, who now lives in a tiny apartment near the airport where her son works as a janitor. Xie said she tried to escape from her third floor hotel room on March 10 via its balcony but was stopped by at least seven guards who, she said, "put me on the bed and used the bedspread" to hold her down. She said she stole the room key when a guard was not looking.
Xie and her husband were not alone. Three other people have told CNN they were held against their will at the Holiday Inn Express Nanhuizui – located in Lingang New City on the outskirts of Shanghai – to keep them from airing grievances to the central government during the 10-day annual meeting of China's legislature in March. The hotel management and owners deny their claims.
(CNN) – China unveiled the elite group of seven who will set the agenda for the next decade. Leading the group: Xi Jinping, now the nation's most powerful man.
Now that China’s Communist Party has officially put its stamp on its new leaders, political scientist Willy Lam offers this analysis:
“By and large, we have a conservative team,” Lam told CNN. “We can expect no substantial or meaningful movement toward political reform, in favor of staying the course, maintaining political stability and defusing challenges to the party’s authority.”
Reformers are concerned that two protégés of former President Hu Jintao – Liu Yuanchao and Wang Yang – weren’t selected. “Liu and Wang were considered to be pro-reform, so for those hoping for reform this is quite a disappointment,” Lam said.
Tokyo (CNN) – As if the world economy didn't have enough bad news, with the ongoing eurozone debt crisis, the slowdown in China and the U.S. teetering on the edge of the "fiscal cliff."
Now the territorial dispute on ownership of East China Sea islands between Beijing and Tokyo is echoing on the global stage, as China's top banker pulled out of the IMF meeting here in a move widely seen as a protest for the Japanese government's purchase of the islands – known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.
Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of the People's Bank of China, was scheduled to deliver the Per Jacobsson lecture, a prestigious speaking spot reserved for financial luminaries such as Alan Greenspan and PIMCO CEO Mohamed A. El-Erian. His deputy, Yi Gang, will give the address instead, but coming after representatives from China’s four largest banks decline en masse to attend the IMF meetings because they are being hosted by Japan.
Hong Kong (CNN) – Figures last month out of China for Japanese auto companies paint a pretty stark picture of the impact on sales of anti-Japanese sentiment over a group of disputed islands.
Sales for Toyota vehicles in the world’s largest car market fell 40% year-on-year in September, mimicking similar declines for Mazda and Nissan. Meanwhile, General Motors had record car sales in China last month, as did South Korean carmaker Hyundai.
All of which suggest calls by Chinese nationalists to stop buying Japanese products are taking a bite out of Tokyo profits. But do economic boycotts really work?
Hong Kong (CNN) – After hitting three-and-a-half year lows earlier this week, China stocks bounced 2.6% on Thursday.
What gives? Market rumors, and China prepping for a week-long holiday.
(CNN) - For more than a year, Chris Bayer, a Canadian student, waited tables alongside Chinese migrant workers in a restaurant in Shanghai. While there he received an intimate glimpse of what work life is like for millions in mainland China.
"Nothing was ever really clear," said Bayer, who is now back in Canada. "In the West, people state their mind. In China, there was no sharing of ideas. When it came to new processes, no one ever offered any input. There was no teamwork. People were so afraid of doing something wrong."
Though Bayer's circumstance in China was rare - a foreigner working alongside migrant workers in local eateries is not common - his experience in a Chinese workplace is one that experts say is common.
Whether a restaurant or a massive company, businesses in China revolve around perplexing power structures, where innovative thinking is often stymied, partly by an education system that prioritizes rote memorization over creative thinking, and partly because employees are afraid of offering input that might insult the intelligence of their boss.
Hong Kong (CNN) - A group representing international companies in China has warned members that police in Beijing, Hebei and Shandong have required international firms to purchase Internet monitoring devices or risk having their connections cut.
The Quality Brands Protection Committee (QBPC), a group aimed at safeguarding intellectual property rights in China, sent an email to its 216 members late last month warning of the police visits, saying it "would cause serious concerns from our members."
The emailed alert, copies of which were provided to CNN, raise particular concerns for international businesses operating in China because many companies often use private networks that allow employees to skirt China's so-called "Great Firewall" of censors. But, based on the QBPC alert, it appears firms in some areas are being asked to install a device within their private systems to track all internet activity– and that information must be made available to police, looking for "illegal activity."
Hong Kong (CNN) – The glitz and prestige of New York’s 5th Avenue makes it one of the most famous streets on the planet. But a torrent of mainland China visitors and a rental war among global brands will soon push the property prices in Hong Kong’s Central district higher than New York’s most expensive address.
As CNN’s Ramy Inocencio reports, Colliers predicts that by 2014, the average retail space in Hong Kong’s Central district (pictured above, left) will eclipse the $2,600 square foot price of New York’s 5th Avenue (pictured above, right). Presently, the average price is about $1,800 per square foot in Central, but prices have been zooming higher as retail brands jostle for prime real estate in this tightly packed territory.
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