By Laurie Chen
BEIJING (Reuters) – The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said on Wednesday that it would not use the term “uninvestable” to describe China, in response to a comment from the United States.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said late Tuesday American firms had increasingly used the term to describe China, prompting Beijing to defend its business practices and approach to foreign investment.
“‘Uninvestable’ is not a term we would use to describe China,” Jens Eskelund, president of the EU chamber, said in an emailed response to questions from Reuters on Raimondo’s remarks.
He added, however, that China was “under-invested” in terms of the amount of foreign direct investment it had been able to attract from Europe given the size of its economy, and noted that EU investment into China had been decreasing in recent years.
He also raised similar concerns to Raimondo about China’s business environment, including ambiguous regulations and security issues.
“China can do much to turn this around,” Eskelund said. “But it would take clear, concrete and specific action in terms of removing some of the concerns presently weighing on companies when making investment decisions.”
He cited a recent business survey from June which found almost two-thirds of its members indicated that they would consider expanding their presence in China should market access improve.
(Reporting by Laurie Chen; Writing by John Geddie; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman, Robert Birsel)