Greening China: Outlook for European SMEs



Outlook for European SMEs




China’s 12th Five-Year Plan offers European Union companies a unique opportunity to participate in the greening of Asia’s economic powerhouse but Europeans should also look out for more competition from Chinese rivals and new investment barriers in the green sector, says a report published by chinadialogue*, leading independent specialists on China’s environmental policies.

The report is published as part of the Understanding China programme that is co-funded by the European Commission and implemented by EUROCHAMBRES, Friends of Europe and ten other partners.

Given their reputation as global leaders in clean-energy technologies, European companies are well-placed to take advantage of China’s trillion-euro drive to clean up the environment. European firms stand to benefit from the Plan’s focus on strategic emerging industries such as biotechnology and renewables, energy efficiency and conservation technology, as well as the innovative scheme to reduce carbon intensity in selected “low-carbon” provinces and cities.

It will not be plain-sailing, however, as China seeks to restrict some foreign investments in new technologies, encourages so called “indigenous innovation” and Chinese firms emerge as strong competitors in manufacturing and exporting clean technology. Given the scale of its needs, however, China will need foreign technology. The country could therefore become a proving ground for new green technology, including large-scale renewables, carbon capture and storage and innovative forms of transport, says the report.

To ensure this, Europe must seek stronger engagement with China and develop a common, coherent and more robust approach towards the country. A “historic partnership” covering the green sector should be explored, says the report. To avoid being left behind as China embraces green growth, Europe should maintain its role as climate change leader by sticking to its own goals for reducing green-house gas emissions.

Download the Policy Briefing “GREENING CHINA: Outlook for European SMEs”

*chinadialogue is an independent not-for profit organisation based in London, Beijing and San Francisco that fosters constructive environmental dialogue with China across barriers of language and culture.

For more information please contact:
Tan Copsey, Development Manager at chinadialogue
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7324 4767 – e-mail:

Shada Islam, Head of the Asia Programme at Friends of Europe
Friends of Europe’s Asia Programme contributes to a new EU strategy for Asia with various activities with a strong emphasis on policy recommendations.
Tel: +32 (0) 2 739 15 78 – e-mail:

Understanding China is a programme co-funded by the European Commission