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China's COVID-19 controls prompting EU firms to consider moving investments elsewhere -business group

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People ride shared bicycles during morning rush hour at the Central Business District (CBD), following a work-from-home order for residents of Chaoyang district amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Beijing, China May 5, 2022. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

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SHENZHEN, China, May 5 (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.

Lockdown measures have disrupted supply chains, with 92% of respondents saying they had been negatively impacted by recent port closures, decreased road freight and rising sea freight costs.

As of Tuesday, 43 cities are under full or partial lockdowns or have implemented district-based controls, which involve strict mobility restrictions for local residents, according to Nomura.

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Reporting by David Kirton: Editing by Neil Fullick

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