CCI FRANCE CHINE in discussion with the SCOFCOM

On Monday, May 23rd, CCI FRANCE CHINE, represented by the President, Mr. Christophe LAURAS, the General Manager, Mrs. Caroline PENARD, the Shanghai Branch Director, Mr. Pascal CHEN, and by the Corporate Relations & Chinese Business Director, Mrs. Delphine YAO, together with several French companies attended an online roundtable discussion with the Shanghai Commission of Commerce (SCOFCOM).

This meeting comes as a second round after the meeting with the MOFCOM last month, on April 27th. Thanks to the advocacy work of the CCI FRANCE CHINE team, the SCOFCOM has agreed to this new meeting to shed light on the major concerns of our members.

Mrs. ZHU Yi, Deputy Director of SCOFCOM led this session, together with Mr. TAN Wei, Director of the Foreign Investment Division of SCOFCOM, Mr. XUE Feng, Director of Invest Shanghai, and several other official departments. It includes the leaders of the NDRC, the Bureau of human resources & social security, the Bureau of culture and tourism, the Bureau of Tax, the Bureau of Commerce of Pudong new-area district, Changning District, Hongkou District, Minhang District, Jiading District and Qingpu District, the Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone Administration Bureau, and Lingang New Area Management Committee.

The present local authorities managed to provide practical answers to the pragmatic questions from the attending companies. Throughout this roundtable discussion, French companies were seeking more visibility in the evolution of the management of the epidemic for the weeks and months to come. While the attendees acknowledged that Shanghai did a good job in handling the virus outbreak, it is clear, however, that, there are multiple disruptions of production lines in the industry and many difficulties in organizing the resumption of work for all companies. These logistic issues are improving gradually, but overall, the industrial production is still affected upstream and downstream by restrictions, interruptions in the supply chain, transportation issues, and the general lack of consumer demand.

In the past weeks, Shanghai has announced plenty of measures of restrictions lifting and reopening plans, all of them showing progress. Yet, the positive effects are limited so far. Indeed, the requirement imposed on companies to work in a closed loop along with the many checkpoints and testing requirements are bringing constraints to employees, enterprises, and consumers. Things are gradually moving in the right direction; we would hope that the situation evolves in a positive direction.

CCI FRANCE CHINE reminded the local authorities that many French MNCs had established their Asia Pacific headquarters in Shanghai. French companies have long terms plan in China and before the lockdown, many of them were planning to continue to invest massively in Shanghai. They are now hesitating and we do hope that increased visibility and predictability in the outbreak management will help maintain this momentum.

There is therefore a mutually beneficial outcome in organizing discussions such as this one. Indeed, it is a great way for the local authorities to help the attending companies regain confidence in the future of their endeavor in China.

To conclude this meeting, Chinese authorities expressed that China will remain a suitable location for investments. They believe in the sustainability of foreign companies in China. To this end, they will ensure that China and more specifically, Shanghai, remain attractive to foreign companies. The authorities have also expressed their wish to further strengthen the dialogue with French companies, in the future.

CCI FRANCE CHINE will stay in touch with the SCOFCOM regularly to allow information exchanges between the government and our members. 

CCI FRANCE CHINE will do its utmost to support its French businesses members and feedback the issues that truly matter to them to the right people.

Feel free to browse on the following page if you have missed our article on the "Updated Policies Summary for Companies in Shanghai".