EU needs fair and equal treatment of European companies in China
Substantial agreement on investment could support economic recovery
Today, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will hold the 22nd EU-China Summit that will take place virtually.
BusinessEurope calls on both sides to make substantive progress on key issues during the summit, including the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, cooperation on WTO reform, such as the creation of new rules and disciplines in the area of industrial subsidies, and the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic recovery.
Pierre Gattaz, President of BusinessEurope said: “The Comprehensive Agreement on Investment should deliver ambitious market access for European companies. It must include level playing field provisions that result in fair and equal treatment of European companies. While substance should prevail over timing in concluding these negotiations, the enhanced trade and investment that this agreement will bring would be a major contribution to the economic recovery efforts of both sides. Since European investment flows towards China have been falling year-on-year since 2012, the rationale for an ambitious agreement should be clear.”
BusinessEurope expressed the desire for a stronger and fairer economic relationship in the publication of our comprehensive strategy paper on China in January this year. Several obstacles currently stand in the way of achieving this. Concluding the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment would therefore be an important signal that China values the fair and reciprocal treatment of businesses on both sides.
“Given the systemic challenges that stem from the ongoing consolidation of China’s state-led economy, in our strategy paper we also call for a number of measures to level the playing field and mitigate market distortions in Europe. The European Commission’s recent White Paper contains several important proposals that fit within our broader strategy of rebalancing the economic relationship,” Gattaz concluded.