China: we expect improved market access for European companies
Tomorrow, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will meet with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in the context of the 21st EU-China Summit.
Pierre Gattaz, President of BusinessEurope, said: “Trade and investment barriers continue to prevent European companies from taking full advantage of business opportunities in China. It’s high time to make concrete steps to conclude the negotiations on the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment that are ongoing for 6 years. Our companies cannot wait that long for an agreement. Over the past years, Chinese investment flows into the EU have vastly exceeded European investment flows into China. In 2017, China invested € 29.1 billion in the EU, while the EU only invested a quarter of that amount (€ 6.9 billion) in China. We need a more balanced and reciprocal economic relationship by reducing market access barriers, removing joint venture requirements, and fully protect foreign investment, including stringent protection of intellectual property”.
BusinessEurope furthermore encourages the EU and China to cooperate to fight protectionism, and strengthen the rules-based multilateral trading system through WTO reform. WTO reform efforts should focus on updating the decision-making process and solving the problems related to industrial subsidies and the market distortive effects of state-owned enterprises. To this end, it is essential that all WTO members, including China, take responsibilities according to their real economic status and level of development.
“China is now the world’s second largest economy, and with size comes responsibility. China has benefited majorly from the world trading system. Now it’s time for China to actively contribute to the multilateral trading system according to its level of development. Besides participating constructively in the WTO reform, China should now take the necessary steps to join the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement,” Gattaz concluded.