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Can European SMEs get loans from Chinese banks?

The short, general answer is yes.

However, in practice the situation is more complicated that it should be. Specifically, the financial requirements for loans from Chinese banks are generally higher than those in the EU and compared to domestic companies, and must be obtained against guarantees from banks outside China – thus requiring further risk assessments. At the same time, loans in foreign currency are affected by ‘borrowing gaps’ – i.e. foreign debt quota, that is the maximum amount that can be borrowed from offshore third-parties.

Indeed, ‘access to financing’ continues to be one of the top issues encountered by foreign companies in China. More detailed information on this issue for SMEs, can be found on the EU SME Centre’s annual publication “SMEs in China: Policy Environment Report”, available at:; as well as on the Position Paper of the Inter-Chamber Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Working Group, available at: