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Nearly one in four European firms mull shifting out of China amid Covid outbreak

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China, according report released Monday by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. The survey was conducted at the end of April, when Shanghai was still in shutdown and restrictions in places like Jilin disrupted business activity.

The number of European firms reassessing their options in China was the highest proportion in a decade in the survey, and also more than double the 11% recorded in a February poll, according to the chamber.

Some 372 businesses responded to the April poll, whereas 620 responded to the February one. China’s current policy -- with no exit strategy from its zero tolerance approach to combating infections -- “leaves headquarters no option but to look for other locations," said Bettina Schoen-Behanzin, vice president of the chamber. “The world does not wait for China." Of the firms considering a shift in investment, 16% said they were looking at relocating to Southeast Asia, while 18% said they were looking elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region.

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