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AmCham says staffing top concern for US corporates in Shanghai

by AFX News Limited - 03/11/2006
 
"SHANGHAI (XFN-ASIA) - The Shanghai branch of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) said staffing was the top concern for US firms doing business in China -- being cited as a concern by its members more often than issues such as bureaucracy and intelle"
 
<a href="%%HOME_LINK%%">HOME LINK</a>SHANGHAI (XFN-ASIA) - The Shanghai branch of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) said staffing was the top concern for US firms doing business in China -- being cited as a concern by its members more often than issues such as bureaucracy and intellectual property protection.

In its 2006 China Business Report, based on a survey of Shanghai AmCham corporate members, 33 pct of respondents cited 'human resource constraints' as the top business challenge in China, although the bulk of its members are still bullish on the country and plan additional expansion.

'Most of our member companies are growing very quickly now -- making hiring, recruiting and retention key issues,' said AmCham vice chairman Charles Mo.

Mo said there was a scarcity of professional, white-collar workers in China -- particularly in the Yangtze River Delta area -- and that this was also a problem at the entry-level positions.

Mo and other AmCham executives were presenting the results of a survey of 247 Shanghai AmCham members.

It said that 51.7 pct of respondents considered changes in wages and salary to be a 'negative' or 'strong negative' influence on business and that over 80 pct were seeing a negative impact from controlling salary increases.

AmCham said 18 pct of respondents cited bureaucracy and lack of transparency as the top business concern, 13 pct cited intellectual property rights infringements and 11 pct cited local protectionism and corruption.

Issues cited by less than 10 pct of respondents were -- in descending order -- visa difficulties for Chinese citizens traveling to the US, getting payments from buyers and assessing credit worthiness, difficulty enforcing contracts, foreign exchange problems, non-tariff barriers and obtaining raw materials or energy.

In spite of the perceived problems, AmCham said that most of its members were bullish on China and were forecasting increased profits from their operations there in 2006.

It said 79 pct of US firms were 'more optimistic' about their business outlook in China in 2006 compared with 2005.

It said 85 pct of respondents reported plans to increase production capacity in 2006 and more than half expected to increase investment in China operations by more than 10 pct.

The organization also said that almost half of respondents were planning to expand into second-tier Chinese cities, with the most cited cities being Chengdu, Chongqing, Nanjing, Wuhan and Tianjin.
 
More Details: http://www.forbes.com/home/feeds/afx/2006/11/01/afx3135843.html
 
 
 
 
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