Travel slows down biggest challenge for UK businesses in China: survey | Business and Economy
The Chamber of Commerce says China’s zero-tolerance approach has made it “extremely difficult” for staff to enter the country.
China’s strict restrictions on international travel as part of its zero-tolerance approach to controlling COVID-19 are the main concern of UK companies operating in the country, but they are more optimistic than last year, revealed Tuesday an investigation.
“Opaque and inconsistent travel and visa policies have made it extremely difficult for foreign personnel to enter China,” said the British Chamber of Commerce in Beijing.
While other countries in Asia have slowly opened their borders to international travel, China has consistently implemented strict restrictions involving long quarantines and limits on flights and visas.
âChina is physically more isolated from the world today than at any time since joining the World Trade Organization 20 years ago. As international travel begins to pick up on a global scale, the contrast with China is stark, âthe chamber said.
Its survey, which had 288 respondents, showed that nearly a quarter of companies saw their overseas workforce drop in 2021, and 41% expect the numbers to drop significantly next year amid concerns about the separation from family or friends, or uncertainties about the possibility of returning.
Business groups representing European and American companies have expressed similar concerns.
China has defended its COVID control measures as an effective way to protect its citizens and officials have said they will not change anytime soon, though the country has pledged to ease the rules slightly for business travelers Americans.
The UK survey said the recovery from the pandemic-related disruptions had been “fragile”, but companies are more optimistic about the outlook in China than they were last year.
About two-fifths of companies expect their profits in 2021 to exceed pre-pandemic levels, and nearly half expect them to increase from last year, he said. -he declares. In the 2020 survey, only 30% of companies expected higher profits than the previous year.
Almost half of the respondents were from the professional services, education, advanced manufacturing and transportation industries.
Other concerns raised by companies included uncertainties in China’s cybersecurity regulations and rising labor costs.