BEIJING – American companies with a presence in China are concerned over unequal opportunities in the Asian country and regulatory uncertainties although they are confident that bilateral relations will improve in 2018, the American Chamber of Commerce in China said Tuesday.
The findings of the 2017 Business Climate Survey, released by the Chamber in Beijing on Tuesday, indicate that the main challenge for 60 percent of the companies surveyed is the inconsistency in the country in interpreting regulation and a lack of clarity in its laws.
Increasing labor costs as well as risks of regulatory compliance was considered one of the main challenges for a majority of the companies for the first time in the 20 editions of the survey.
Forty-six percent of the American companies also reported that they were unfairly treated as compared to domestic companies.
Out of these, 55 percent also complained of unfair treatment owing to bans or restrictions with regards to access to the market, 52 percent reported a difference in enforcement of laws and regulation, and 36 percent of discrimination in government support and subsidies.
Thirty-six percent of the companies surveyed – as opposed to 17 percent last year – also believed that bilateral ties between China and the United States will improve in 2018.
William Zarit, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, explained that the optimism stems partly from the fact that the survey, conducted between Oct. 23-Nov. 26 last year, coincided with the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and the official visit of US President Donald Trump to Beijing.