The Role of Overseas Chinese in Europe in Making China Global: The Case of Portugal
This paper aims at analysing the characteristics and dynamics of the Chinese business community in Portugal in the context of the growing phenomenon of Chinese migration flows to Portugal and to Europe. By means of original research based on primary data obtained through questionnaires and interviews applied to Chinese entrepreneurs and business associations the paper provides an in-depth analysis of the role that this community plays both as a facilitator of China’s integration in the world economy and a potential bridge between the European Union (EU) and China. The study concludes that the Chinese business community in Portugal is rather heterogeneous, dominated by immigrants from Zhejiang province, who operate predominantly in the service sector (retail and wholesale trade), taking advantage of the guanxi network within Europe so as to make use of the advantages of the European single market in order to consolidate competitive advantages. Moreover, this community plays a pro-active role in fostering China’s integration in the global economy by acting as windows for the penetration of Chinese exports on the one hand and by capturing and channelling foreign direct investment to China on the other hand.
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