European Commission Expands Support Measures for European SMEs in China

By Eu-china Managers Exchange And Training Programme, PRNE
Thursday, November 25, 2010

Almost 200 EU Managers Trained to Become Experts for Chinese Market

BEIJING, November 26, 2010 - As the recent G20-summit has shown, economic exchange and mutual
understanding between the European Union and China need to be fostered in a
sustainable way. While most countries suffered heavily under the financial
crisis, China has managed to strengthen its domestic market, becoming the
third-largest economy in the world, accounting for 7.5 percent of the world's
total economic activity. In order to retain a competitive edge, European
companies more than ever have to tap the potential the Chinese market offers
and develop business relations with China. To enable this - even for small
and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that mostly lack resources - the European
Commission provides specific assistance: qualified executive trainings and
special contact points to access the Chinese market.

In 2006, the European Commission and the government of China established
the EU-China Managers Exchange and Training Programme (METP). Within the past
four years, more than 170 European managers seized the chance to join the
programme and become experts for the Chinese market. Currently, the fifth and
final intake is taking place with 52 executives from 22 different EU member
states. "By combining an intensive Chinese language course with management
and intercultural trainings as well as study tours and company visits in
China, participants are familiarised with Chinese language and culture,
become accustomed to differences in business practice and establish valuable
business contacts," says Dr. Stefan Hell, METP team leader in Beijing.

While METP will end in 2011, in accordance with its initial design as an
ODA project, the European Commission's Enterprise Europe Network recently
opened 10 contact points in China, giving European SMEs easier access to this
attractive market. During the Network's third annual conference, European
Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani underlined its importance: "European
small businesses drive growth and create jobs. As markets become global, an
increasing share of SMEs will turn their ideas and energy into exports
outside their own countries or the EU. There are huge opportunities for SMEs
in large trading partners like China, and the Enterprise Europe Network can
help smooth the way." The Network is a key part of the EU's Competitiveness
and Innovation Framework Programme, which aims to encourage competitiveness
in European businesses.

For further information about METP: and about the
Enterprise Europe Network:

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The EU-China Managers Exchange and Training Programme (METP)
is a five-year intergovernmental cooperation project between the European
Commission and the Government of the People's Republic of China. Placed
within the dynamic context of continuously evolving relations between the EU
and China, the non-profit programme is designed to enhance business expertise
by developing European and Chinese human resources. METP aims to train and
financially support internships for 450 Chinese managers in the EU and
European managers in China. The programme is implemented by the China Council
for the Promotion of International Trade from 2006 to 2011, and total funding
from the EC and the Government of China is 23 million Euros.

The Enterprise Europe Network was launched in February 2008 by
the European Commission and is a key part of the EU's Competitiveness and
Innovation Framework Programme, which aims to encourage competitiveness in
European businesses. It offers practical support and advice to more than two
million European small businesses, helping them to make the most of
international opportunities and start exporting. Spanning 47 countries,
including EU Member States and candidate countries, the US, Russia, China,
Mexico and South Korea, the Network is well placed to help SMEs trade outside
national and EU borders. The services are delivered through 589 specialist
business and technology organisations with 3,000 expert staff members. The
Network also provides information on EU legislation and funding, offers
advice on how to develop an innovative idea and helps companies to increase
their chances of success when applying for EU funding.

    Steffi Fahjen, Tel.: +49-69-66-12-456-8394

Enquiries: MSL, Steffi Fahjen, Tel.: +49-69-66-12-456-8394, E-Mail: steffi.fahjen at

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