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Unlocking China's business potential

From Richard Quest, CNN
updated 3:24 PM EDT, Thu June 28, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Europe's trade with China is being stymied by barriers including a lack of transparency
  • EU's ambassador to China said whole sectors are "pretty much closed" to European and U.S. companies
  • The comments come as the economies of both China and Europe remain in flux

(CNN) -- Europe's trade with China is being stymied by barriers including a lack of transparency and opaque business environment, according to European Union's ambassador to China.

Markus Ederer, who headed the European Union's delegation to China last year, said whole sectors are "pretty much closed" to European and U.S. companies, including banking, tourism and logistics.

The comments come as the economies of both China and Europe remain in flux. China's economy is shifting away from being focused on low-cost and low-margin mass production toward higher value products, Ederer said. That transition comes as Europe continues to be weighed down by its economic crisis.

Eurozone crisis: In-depth

While European companies are trying to grapple with the lack of transparency and increasing production costs in China, the Chinese have their own concerns about the stability of the European market and the future of the euro, Ederer said.

"I think it is [as] a legitimate concern for them as it is for us Europeans," Ederer said, noting the question being asked is: "what happens next?"

However, added Ederer: "I am telling my Chinese interlocutors that they should not underestimate Europe, it has been made very clear by the European leaders that they will do everything in their means to keep the euro and keep the eurozone intact."

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