Travelers walk through Amsterdam Central Station in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on Tuesday. Photo: IC

Europe is very much open to collaboration with China and other Asian countries, and is a “predictable” and “reliable” partner, an entrepreneur from the Netherlands said on Wednesday.

The entrepreneur made the comments when asked whether he has sensed a shift of Chinese biotechnology companies’ inclination to invest in the US to invest in Europe, as the ongoing trade war is hurting the investment sentiment of businesses in China and the US. 

“Yes, absolutely,” said Wolf Ondracek, partner of the Netherlands-based 3eacon.com, which provides strategic consultancy in the pharmaceutical, medical device and biotech industries. 

According to Ondracek, the growing interest of Chinese companies to invest in Europe is happening as Europe shows an openness to collaboration with companies in Asia, including in China. 

“I think Europe is a very predictable and reliable partner. Increasingly, Chinese companies are seeing this and seeing that this is the right time to enter the European market,” he said.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is responsible for the scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of medicines in the EU, was relocated from London to Amsterdam, after the UK voted to exit from the EU. 

Ondracek commented that this relocation, although it does not change the general regulations, is also likely to encourage multinational companies, including those in China, to choose the Netherlands for their European offices or subsidiaries as it is the place where the EMA is situated. 

Economic and trade relations between China and the Netherlands have been on the rise since 2018 as high-level visits push forward bilateral relations.

The Netherlands exports about 11 billion euros ($12.28 billion) of goods to China, compared with 1 billion euros in 2001. Exports from China to the Netherlands surged from about 9 billion euros in 2001 to more than 36 billion euros currently, according to a speech delivered by Remco van Wijgaarden, Consulate General of the Netherlands in Shanghai on Wednesday.