Firstly, Jean Marc Rousseau, consultant economist, presented the business opportunities for European SMEs in China. In the last few years, new players are revolutionising the global competitiveness and in this revolution, Asian countries are at the centre.
He gave significant numbers:
3% of China's total land = 16% of China's population = 45% of Chinese Gross Domestic Product = 70% of international trade and investments.
But in this country, SMEs face to barriers and for instance foreign SMEs have a difficult time securing bank loans both from local and foreign banks and a bank loan from abroad cannot be converted into renmibi (Chinese money).
Therefore establish a centre in China could help European SMEs by providing information and assistance and supporting the organization of training activities and events. It can promote business, technological, scientific, cultural heritage and educational exchanges between the EU and China. And finally enhance the visibility of the EU in China.
The study presented in this meeting highlights many points concerning the initial centre design such as the mission and objectives, the location, the legal structure or the potential economic and political risks. In each point, many possibilities are given.
The final report is foreseen in April 2008. The key issue asked by the participants is the risk of providing the same information and activities given by the Member States and Chambers of Commerce and Industry already implanted in China.