September 23, 2010
The occasion of the annual visit of the European Chamber of Commerce in Europe afforded me the rare opportunity to meet both a group of senior industry leaders from China and the Chinese ambassador to the EU, and his trade officials.
What was clear from this excellent opportunity to gain first hand insights on the emergence of China, was both the seismic shift in global geo-politics and the opportunity for Europe to be a partner as China heads into the future. The challenge sits squarely on the shoulders of Baroness Ashton who, last week, announced a series of appointments including a new ‘chef de mission’ in Beijing. Her ability to develop powerful collaboration in China and with other key economic partners is, of course, dependent upon the willingness of member states to subordinate some or all national interests to those of Europe as a whole.
In our sector we have much to offer China in terms of policy and regulation. But we must organise ourselves better to occupy the seats at table that we are invited to fill. It is my impression that the sum of European national efforts is not greater than potential for the whole.
Frustrations there may be, as a result of the pace of market liberalisation in China, but change is occurring and Europe has much to offer as a result of what has been learned from the growing pains of the single market. As China develops a regulatory system our experiences can really help it achieve both patient safety and mutually acceptable trade conditions.
The EUCCC position paper can be found here and includes a specific report on medical technology.
John WilkinsonAuthor : MedTech Europe