On 22 September 2022, the EU SME Centre was pleased to meet with the Commercial Legal Service Center of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC) at the CCPIT office in Beijing.
Ms. Jielin Wang, Director, Legal Counsel Service of CCPIT, and Liam Jia, project lead of the EU SME Centre, introduced the background, mission, and vision of their respective organisations and discussed the experiences and challenges encountered by European small and medium-sized enterprises doing business in China.
European SMEs face knowledge gaps and limited resources to solve business disputes with partners or suppliers in China, especially when they do not have a structural presence or representatives on the ground. The EU SME Centre emphasised the need for effective and accessible ways allowing companies to urge their business counterparts to fulfil contract terms and to take action to protect their legitimate interests.
Ms. Wang stressed the importance attached by the Chinese government to international trade and to offering practical solutions to businesses. She introduced CCPIT’s efforts in cooperation with local authorities in charge of trade promotion to solve disputes and urge companies to act in compliance with the terms of their business contracts. As part of the range of free services offered by the CCPIT in legal counsel and training, Ms. Wang presented the Cross-Border Trade and Investment Legal Service Platform, or CTILS (企业跨境贸易投资法律支援平台, abbreviated to贸法通), accessible at https://www.ctils.com/ (in Chinese). Another free service assesses for companies who submit factual evidence of a breach of contract the success rate of their complaint on a case-by-case basis. With this information, companies can decide whether to move on to litigation.
The EU SME Centre organises regular free training and workshop sessions for small and medium-sized companies from the European Union and from countries participating in the Single Market Programme (Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Norway) on various aspects of doing business in China, including legal matters. The Centre welcomes CCPIT representatives to participate as expert speakers to share experiences and insights during these sessions.