SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) -European businesses in China are increasingly looking to shift their investments to other markets due to the country’s strict COVID-19 containment measures and supply chain disruptions, the European Chamber of Commerce in China said on Thursday.
A member survey found that almost a quarter of respondents were considering moving current or planned investments out of China, more than double the number at the start of the year.
“Our members are weathering the storm for now, but if the current situation continues, they will increasingly evaluate alternatives to China,” said the chamber’s president, Jorg Wuttke.
While member firms understand that short restrictions need to remain in place to avoid the medical system being overloaded, they also needed a timeframe for a gradual reopening, Wuttke said.
Some 60% of the 372 respondents said they had lowered their revenue forecasts for the year.
Lockdown measures have disrupted supply chains, with 92% saying they had been negatively impacted by recent port closures, decreased road freight and rising sea freight costs.
As of Tuesday, 43 cities were under full or partial lockdowns or had implemented district-based controls, which involve strict mobility restrictions for residents, according to Nomura.
Most of Shanghai’s 25 million people have endured more than a month of confinement in their residential compounds.
(Reporting by David Kirton: Editing by Neil Fullick & Simon Cameron-Moore)