China boosts its presence in Europe
2013-06-08 14:21:00

China boosts its presence in Europe 

  Two technicians examininga production line at ShandongKaitai Group, an engineering equipment producer based in Shandongprovince. Kaitai has so far set up overseas branches in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Last year it successfully acquired Airblast B.V. of the Netherlands. (Photo provided to China Daily)


  But it's not all plain sailing for businesses that are outward-bound in their outlook

  When the global financial crisis broke out in 2008, little did economic experts think it would be the precursor to a healthy economic relationship between China and Europe. But in the subsequent years the alliance, aided by a series of mergers and acquisitions in Europe, has managed to give Chinese outbound investment a new direction.

  More importantly, the Chinese investment footprint covers the entire continent, ranging from the cantons of Switzerland, to the industrial heartlands of Germany, the vineyards of France, a port in Greece, and textile companies in Italy. It also includes utility investments in the UK and services sector investments in many European nations.

  ZhejiangXuebao Fashion Co, a leading fur coat maker, is one of the Chinese companies eyeing Europe for further growth. The company plans to invest 50 million yuan ($8 million) to acquire a local fur coat factory in Turin and establish a representative office in Italy by the end of May.

  "Italy is the fur capital of the world. There is a lot of know-how we can gain from the Italian factory. It will also help in making our products appeal more to European customers," said Zhu Weixiang, general manager of the company. "The debt crisis in Italy has given us an ideal investment opportunity."

  In July last year, China's leading down coat producer, Bosideng International Holdings Ltd, opened its first overseas store in London's West End. The $55 million store is the first main link in Bosideng's overseas expansion.

  The company, named Chinese Investor of the Year in 2012 by the British Business Award council, expects overseas business to account for more than 5 percent of its total revenue in the next five years.

  Chinese investment in Europe has not only grown rapidly, but also outpaced its investments in the United States. And, not surprisingly, most of these investments have managed to create jobs amid a dismal economic climate in Europe. Editor:Jennifer