“Beijing needs to send a clear message on how it plans to revive its economy and provide clarity on a national security crackdown that is unnerving the foreign business community,” says Jens Eskelund, President of the European Chamber of Commerce in China.
The world’s second-largest economy grew at a frail pace in the second quarter of 2023. This has prompted analysts to downgrade their growth forecasts for the year.
“There is this doubt about where China is going, so I think it is a matter of urgency to go out and address these uncertainties,” Eskelund told Reuters.
“The next few months will be quite important in terms of rebuilding confidence in the future course of China,” he added during an interview at the group’s Beijing headquarters on Monday, August 21.
China’s economic slowdown comes amid weakening demand, a property crisis and rising unemployment. The slow growth also has coincided with increasing state intervention in the private sector, which has increased scrutiny of foreign business links.
At the same time, Chinese leaders have called for more overseas investment, but confidence in the country remains low.
“I think China is evolving. Not everything will continue to go upwards at a steep incline forever. It is natural that a very steep growth rate will moderate at some point in time,” Eskelund, who is also Chief Representative for Danish shipping giant Maersk in Greater China and Northeast Asia, added.