In 1997, Chongqing became a municipality under direct control by the central government. The municipality has been the hub for the development in Chinas western part and plays a key role in the implementation of the “Go West” policy, as well as for achieving the western development goals of the national 12th Five-Year Plan.
After several years’ development in Chongqing, the European Chamber has over 30 members in Chongqing currently. Since our last Board election in April 2012, the European Chamber has officially established its office in Chongqing, in order to further strengthen the position and representation in this important municipality.
In the past years, Chongqing has enjoyed an increasing number of foreign and domestic companies settling in the municipality. Already 200 of the global Fortune 500 companies have a presence here. The municipal government has traditionally been very supportive for the development of business and industries.
The new railway link that connects Chongqing with Europe is a major achievement and presents a considerable strategic advantage for the municipality. This new logistics alternative has been highly welcomed by export-oriented companies as well as companies with regular exchange of raw materials, parts and components. Now, in place, it is important to promote this new link and to provide reliable information.
After the recent events in Chongqing, some multinationals and other foreign companies hesitate to establish their presence in the municipality or have delayed some projects. They want to be certain that Chongqing’s dynamic development will continue under the Go West policy, before making further investments. Therefore, the municipal government of Chongqing might want to focus on re-assuring foreign investors that the favorable policies and environment will continue. This will definitely help strengthening the confidence of potential and existing investors.
The Chamber has full confidence in the continuous prosperous development of the municipality, and such trust is backed by companies which are already established in Chongqing. They confirm that the conditions continue to be attractive. However, in order to attract more foreign investment, it is important for Chongqing to regain trust from the international community.
In the recent years, the Chongqing government has made serious efforts to improve the service level and the efficiency of its departments. One of the most important improvements is that many English speaking and younger staff were hired in the government offices.
It is expected that the government continues such improvement of the English language competence in its service departments. This will definitely support the further development of the municipality and make it easier for foreign investors to establish in the municipality.
For many foreign companies it is essential to bring in their foreign experts and managers in order to set up the operations quickly and smoothly and to foster knowhow and technology transfer. Hence, the living standards and conditions for the foreign community are important concerns for investors when evaluating locations for their future operations.
Chongqing has already made efforts to strengthen the international education, and the number of students is growing gradually.
As for recreational events, there are increasingly events, which are attractive also to foreigners.