Record number of British firms pessimistic about China business survey

View of the central business district skyline at sunset in Beijing, China.

Sheng Peng | Visual China Group | Getty Images

A record number of British companies are pessimistic about doing business in China and are taking a “wait and see approach,” according to a survey by the British Chamber of Commerce in China.

Increasingly, strained geopolitical relationships, a slowing global economy, increased talk of self-sufficiency and shifting investor perceptions were the top challenges clouding the business outlook, the survey released on Tuesday said.

“British companies are willing and want to invest in China … there is, however, some uncertainty around that and that’s where the survey results we have give us a little cause for concern,” Julian MacCormac, chair of the British Chamber, told reporters in Beijing.

“Seventy percent of companies are saying it is too early to make these long term commitments to the China market,” he added.

AstraZeneca, BP, Jaguar Land Rover and Shell are among some of the members of the chamber.

Foreign direct investment into China has slowed substantially since the country abandoned its strict Covid-19 curbs late last year, with dollar-denominated FDI down 3.3% in January-April compared with the same period last year.

Trade between the U.K. and China was worth 111 billion pounds ($140.09 billion) last year, according to the British National Bureau of Statistics, making China the U.K.’s fourth largest trading partner.

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