Reassurance has also come from the top in China with President Xi Jinping seeking to assuage concerns over China's apparent unfriendliness to foreign business last September. Speaking during a trip to the U.S., Xi said that foreign firms were welcome in China and he rebuffed concerns over China's economy which has seen growth slow in recent years.
Businesses in Europe were not convinced the economic horizon in China is rosy or that reform is afoot, however.
"China's economic slowdown continues to pose a significant challenge to both Chinese and European companies," the EU's Chamber of Commerce in China said in the report.
"However, European business is suffering more acutely from its effects due to an increasingly challenging business environment, coupled with a playing field that is perpetually tilted in favor of domestic enterprises."
The latest survey pointed to a "deepening disillusionment in China's reform agenda" with 56 percent of respondents reported that doing business in China had become more difficult, a five-point increase from 2015." Seventy percent of respondents did not feel more welcome in China than they did 10 years ago.
The lack of confidence was having a direct impact on research and development with European companies' willingness to invest in R&D in China having dropped from 85 percent in 2015, to 72 percent in 2016, indicating that the Chinese Government's ongoing efforts to attract innovation are not having the desired effect.
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