"Chinese investments in the EU: How fundamental global change impacts on the rules of play"
This webinar was initiated and co-organised by Loyens & Loeff N.V. and the Netherlands Hong Kong Business Association, with the kind support of the Dutch Consul-General in Hong Kong, HSBC, the Netherlands China Business Council, the Belgium - Hong Kong Society and the Dutch Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.
Mr Ewout J. Stumphius, currently Of-Counsel at Loyens & Loeff N.V. and until recently Senior Partner China at the same company for 16 years, moderated the event from the office of IGC International in the Van Nelle Fabriek in Rotterdam.
Mr Stumphius: "When looking at Greater China, we are witnessing a fundamental shift of balance at geo-political and macro-level. The sentiment towards China is changing, as is evidenced by the concerted legislative initiatives (both at EU level and at EU Member States level) aiming to facilitate a more strategic positioning of European interests.
Even though Europe remains open for business, there is a wide-spread concern that a more level playing field should be secured and that Europe and its Member States should avail of legal tools to safeguard national interests such as FDI screening and state subsidy rules. This has considerable impact on trade, investments and deal-making opportunities, for Chinese businessmen but also for their European counterparts. A thorough understanding of the rapidly developing regulatory framework is critical."
Speakers at the webinar explored the impact of these rapid developments on Europe's trading with and investment from Mainland China and Hong Kong from various angles.
· The diplomat's view: Is the traditional role of Hong Kong as a hub in international trade, finance, capital markets and investments from China into Europe changing in response to these developments?
Presentation (from Rotterdam) by Arjen van den Berg, Consul-General of the Netherlands in Hong Kong and Macao.
Take away: "The 'one country two systems' policy for now continues to be directed at, and available for, business and thus is a continuing unique feature of Hong Kong. The longer term view is clouded, but the immediate outlook on the unique hub function (financial, stock market, currency) of Hong Kong for outbound and inbound FDI remains good. Hong Kong will continue to be unique, but certainly differently than before."
To view the slides of Mr Van den Berg, click here and go to the bottom of the page (documents)
· The banker's view: where are the numbers (trade and investment volumes) heading, what trends do we see?
Presentation (from Hong Kong) by Romain Seveno, Director - Deputy Head of International Subsidiary Banking, HSBC
Take away: "In Hong Kong business and financial life, it is very much 'business as usual'; HK proves to be resilient. Expectation is that outbound flows via HK will continue at stable level and that HK will continue to flourish; market data support this."
To view the slides of Mr Seveno, click here and go to the bottom of the page (documents).
· The journalist's view: what are the observations of a China watcher on the ground?
Presentation (from Beijing) by journalist Anouk Eigenraam, Correspondent China of the Financiëele Dagblad (FD).
Take away: "Made in 2025 drives the investment orientation (sectoral approach) of Chinese businesses investing and acquiring abroad. This policy and related ones seek to address essential dependencies of China going forward. There is a considerable gap between the geo-political setting and the day-to day reality and experience that businesses encounter, both in China and in Europe. The setting for Chinese business in Europe is increasingly complex and a challenge. What comes next is in essence looking into a crystal ball."
To view the slides of Ms Eigenraam, click here and go to the bottom of the page (documents).
· The lawyer's view: a snapshot of the overall game-change in Europe: from liberal markets to regulated strategic thinking;
Presentation (from Brussels) by Bert Gevers, partner, Loyens & Loeff N.V.
Take away: "Europe is firming up and marking its own interests. New legislation across a wide range of fields: foreign direct investment screening, countering distortion by foreign subsidies, Human Rights – all with concrete and considerable impact on doing deals and investments, trade and supply chain management".
To view the slides of Mr Gevers, click here and go to the bottom of the page (documents).
Concluding remark by moderator Mr Stumphius: "The overall setting is changing rapidly, and increasingly challenging. Note also the added complexity due to the combination of European rules next to varying Member State rules. For example in the Netherlands where the upcoming national security investment screening act will have retro-active effect to June 2020. This all has considerable impact on investments and M&A deal making today and tomorrow. The outlook for business however is not pessimistic – the rules of the game change but the game continues to be 'on'."
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Jun 30, 2021
9 AM - 10 AM (GMT+2)