Mats Harborn, European Chamber China presented new report

Mats Harborn, European Chamber China presented new report

On 10 July the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (European Chamber) launched their thematic report: ‘18 months since Davos – How China’s vision became a reform imperative’.

The report analyses the progress and shortcomings of China’s reform agenda since President Xi Jinping spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos in early 2017. 18 Months Since Davos: How China’s Vision Became a Reform Imperative analyses a year and a half of reform across a wide variety of industries, and examines where tangible results have been seen by European companies in China. It also looks at what the raising of equity caps in selected industries actually means to operations on the ground, as well as which barriers remain or are now more pronounced.

Although the past 18 months has seen more tangible results relative to any other 18-month period since China’s accession to the WTO, in absolute terms the story is quite different. Serious issues like SOE domination, unfair technology transfers and a burdensome regulatory environment detract from the value of progress such as recent of market openings, improvements in the R&D environment and more stringent enforcement of environmental regulations.

The European Chamber is now calling for an absolute approach to implementation of the reform agenda. For China to reach its next stage of development and escape the middle-income trap, an open and competitive business environment underpinned by rule of law must be cultivated. Beyond China’s borders, the global economic system is demanding that China take up its responsibilities as a leading market that is highly dynamic and increasingly on the cutting-edge of innovation, and fulfil the commitments it has made often and prominently.

“It is no longer sufficient for China to aim to become more open, more equitable, and better regulated,” said European Chamber President Mats Harborn. “In order to meet the demands of the Chinese economy and to diffuse rapidly-rising global tensions, China must shift to an absolute perspective that results in China simply becoming an open, equitable and well-regulated place to do businesses.”

The non-profit, European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (European Chamber) was founded in 2000 by 51 member companies that shared a goal of establishing a common voice for the various business sectors of the European Union and European businesses operating in China.

Link to report:

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Hong Kong magazine bikes through Copenhagen: ‘Why is everyone so happy?’

Hong Kong magazine bikes through Copenhagen: ‘Why is everyone so happy?’

The South China Morning Post decided to find out why Danes were among the happiest country in the world by grabbing a bike and riding through the streets of a Copenhagen-summer. 

Journalist Tim Pile of the South China Morning Post decided to visit Denmark to get a glimpse of what apparently made everyone so happy and wrote a small story about his experiences.

He came in the right time because anyone from Denmark will probably acknowledge that the survey branding them as the happiest is most likely done in the summer months, when the sun is out as opposed to the long and dark winters where depression sky-rockets and the isolation of the self explodes.

Anyway, Tim Pile visited in the summer and what we get is a glimpse of what people unfamiliar with Copenhagen first notice when they arrive: The bikes.

“The Danish capital boasts 454km of cycle lanes and pedestrians intending to cross the road have to negotiate a blonde stream of professionals, students and mums towing babies in trendy buggies before they get to the motorised vehicles,” he writes in the introduction.

From thereon he rides through the streets of Copenhagen, commenting on the Tourist Trap (the Little Mermaid), the flock of Danes drinking on the Queen Louise Bridge, breathing slow fumes in the free city of Christiania, and feeling with the overheated guard in front of Amalienborg.

In the end he hasn’t exactly found the reason for the very “happy” country, but nonetheless he has – and I know this as a Dane – listed many of the reasons why the winter is bearable: because of the summer.

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Denmark’s Foreign Minister visited China

Denmark’s Foreign Minister visited China

In late June Danish Foreign Minister, Anders Samuelsen visited china, including to China Zun Tower. “It will be the first time ever a delegation is allowed to visit this building”, a security personal told the waiting crowd.

It was the impressive water pumping system delivered by Danish Company Grundfos that was the reason for the prominent visit, reported Embassy of Denmark, China. And the Danish technology is not delivered to just any building. When completed China Zun will be Beijing’s tallest building towering impressive 528 meter above the city.

Anders Samuelsen’s visit to China marked the 10 years anniversary of the strategic partnership between Denmark and China. The delivery of technology for the China Zun Tower is just one of many projects that Danish companies have been engaged in with the Chinese since the strategic partnership came into effect in 2008. Another recent example is an urban renovation project in the center of Beijing, where Danish green solutions will play a big role.

Denmark is among very few European countries, and the only Northern Country – that has a strategic partnership agreement with China. In total 80 Danish and Chinese government institutions at national and regional level are working closely together in as many as 58 areas.

The Foreign minister (right) inspects technology delivered by Grundfos at a Beijing site

The partnership agreement is the framework that has made projects possible in areas from green tech, energy efficiency, urbanization and health to pollution reduction, human rights, innovation, creative learning etc. Denmark also has five sector experts and an energy attaché in China.

Even for a Foreign Minister the celebration of such an impressive range of cooperation projects between government institutions does not take place every day. At a reception at the Danish Embassy in Beijing Anders Samuelsen spoke to 140 representatives from 40 Chinese government institutions. The Foreign Minister took the opportunity to look back at the ten years that has passed and encouraged everyone to look ahead for opportunities to deepen and develop the cooperation even further in the coming ten years.

During the visit to Beijing, the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs was also received by his Chinese counterpart State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi as well as by Yang Jiechi, one of the 25 members of the Chinese Politburo. The foreign minister also met with Minister Zhong Shan, Ministry of Commerce.

Danish Foreign Minister, Anders Samuelsen

In Beijing as well as in Shanghai the minister met with representatives from the Danish Business community. He also took part in events related to new dedicated opportunities within Fintech and events to attract Chinese investments to Denmark.

The celebrating of the 10 years anniversary of the comprehensive strategic partnership between Denmark and China will continue in the rest of 2018; in September when Copenhagen is guest city for Beijing Design Week as well as in November for China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai.

In Denmark the 10-years celebration will be marked by China Denmark Regions and Cities Forum in Aarhus in November 2018.

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New Vestas turbines order in China

New Vestas turbines order in China

Vestas has secured a 72 MW order for 20 V126-3.45 MW turbines delivered in 3.6 MW Power Optimised Mode. The order is the second Vestas has received for the 4 MW platform in China and the first order of V126-3.45 MW. As China moves towards higher rating turbines, Vestas leverages its extensive experience and capabilities from more than 18 GW of global installations of its 4 MW platform, to provide the right solutions for its customers and improve their business case.

“This order underlines the 4 MW platform’s beginning momentum in the traditionally 2 MW-dominated Chinese market and how Vestas’ flexible product portfolio enables new wind projects. Leveraging Vestas’ leading capabilities in 4 MW-rated turbines, we offer our customers industry-leading performance and reliability, ensuring their return of investment”, says Thomas Keller, CFO Vestas China.

The order also includes 3-year Active Output Management 4000 (AOM 4000) service agreement. Delivery of the turbines is expected to begin in January 2019, with commissioning expected to begin in May 2019.

The project and customer are undisclosed at the customer’s request.

Vestas (from Denmark) designs, manufactures, installs, and services wind turbines, as the energy industry’s global partner on sustainable energy solutions.

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Chinese popular foam toys “squishies” pose a threat to health

Chinese popular foam toys “squishies” pose a threat to health

Found of toxic chemical substances in popular foam toys from China makes The Danish Environmental Protection Agency advise people to throw out all “squishies”.

Photo: Miljø- og Fødevareministeriet

A study on 12 squishies carried out by The Danish Environmental Protection Agency showed that 12 out of 12 squishies contained toxic chemical substances (dimethylformamide). This find causes the agency to encourage people throw out the popular foam toy.

“We are the first country in the world that has identified the problematic substances, despite the fact that it is a worldwide craze,” states Magnus Løfstedt, Office Manager at The Danish Environmental Protection Agency, to Politiken.

The foam toys pose a threat to children’s health due to the release of toxic chemical substances. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the squishies are so dangerous that the agency now officially advise buyers to dispose of all purchased squishies.

“We do this because the products release chemical substances that can cause primarily transient irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract. These nuisances cease when you are no longer exposed to the products. But we also saw other effects, for example on the nervous system and the liver, but these more serious effect occurs only when one is exposed to the squishies for a long period of time,” Magnus Løfstedt explains.

First country to identify problems with squishies

The result of the study is now handed over to the agency’s chemical department that will consider whether there is a basis for police reporting. The study started back in March and according to Magnus Løfstedt this makes Denmark the first country to identify the problems with the Chinese foam toys. This means that the agency now is informing its colleagues in the EU about the problems with squishies.

Even though some kids have been exposed to squishes for a long period of time – and their parents now must worry – Magnus Løfstedt reassures that children getting permanently injured would be extremely unfortunate.

“Considering the fact that squishies evidently deliver the largest amount of chemical substances immediately after unpacking and that the concentration of chemicals decreases over time, we estimate that the likelihood of children having permanent injury due to these products is low.”

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Denmark, China celebrate 10 years anniversary

Denmark, China celebrate 10 years anniversary

Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs Anders Samuelsen met with a Chinese delegation in Beijing to celebrate the 10 years anniversary of partnership between the two countries.

In 2008 Denmark and China established a comprehensive partnership with the goal to further enhance the already good relations and close cooperation between the two countries.

And this partnership was celebrated in at the Danish Embassy in Beijing. During the meeting Anders Samuelsen met with Vice Foreign Minister of China Wang Chao.

According to China.Org, Anders Samuelsen told the attendance that the partnership has expanded considerably in the past decade, and now covers a wide range of sectors including health, food, agriculture, intellectual property protection, market regulation, culture, tourism, maritime affairs and urban development.

“The uniqueness of our partnership comes from the combination of political commitments at the highest levels and close day-to-day cooperation at working levels,” Anders Samuelsen said.

Denmark is the only Nordic country to have established a comprehensive strategic partnership with China. The two countries launched the “Joint Work Program 2017-2020” last year, which in Samuelsen’s words upgraded the partnership to a new level.

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China, Denmark to further maritime digitalization

China, Denmark to further maritime digitalization

Denmark and China has agreed to join forces in an effort to move forward in maritime digitalization.

The two countries will host a three-day seminar on the topic of e-navigation and share experiences earned in the digitalization of various aspects of the maritime life:

“China is an important partner with regard to the digital agenda, including global e-navigation solutions. The Chinese-Danish cooperation enables us to exchange knowledge and experiences,” says Bjørn Borbye Pedersen, Director of e-navigation at the DMA.

“We have just expanded our cooperation agreement on e-navigation to also include China, so the seminar comes at an opportune moment.”

Joining the DMA and China MSA at the seminar will be representatives from China Shipbuilding Information Center, China Classification Society as well as relevant research institutions.

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