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Statement: CCCEU warmly congratulates China, EU on completing negotiations on landmark investment agreement

CCCEU| Updated: Dec 30, 2020

Statement: CCCEU warmly congratulates China, EU on completing negotiations on landmark investment agreement 

30 December 2020, Brussels


The China Chamber of Commerce to the EU (CCCEU) extends the warmest congratulations to China and the European Union (EU) on completing the negotiations on the comprehensive, balanced, and high-level investment agreement as scheduled, which makes a great gift from both sides for the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

The CCCEU believes that shortly before the new year, Chinese President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, French President Emmanuel Macron, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the conclusion of the negotiations, which in itself has a strong political connotation of overcoming difficulties and working together for a win-win situation.

The move is not only a milestone for bilateral ties but also injects confidence and momentum into global economic growth. The CCCEU expects China and the EU to promptly complete the follow-up work, ratify the treaty and implement it in a timely way so that to further boost bilateral investment and trade.

The Chamber takes notice that the China-EU investment agreement marks China’s first bilateral investment treaty that covers market access for investment. Its high level of ambition is reflected in substantially improved market entry, the elimination of discriminatory requirements and practices affecting foreign investors, the establishment of a balanced investment protection framework, and the inclusion of provisions on investment and sustainable development.

The CCCEU believes that the China-EU investment agreement will deepen the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership for mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation, give a strong boost to bilateral investment and economic ties, and inject new impetus into China’s further reform and opening up as well as its "dual-circulation" development.

The conclusion of negotiations on the agreement marks a victory that China and the EU have achieved for maintaining multilateralism and free trade, set to benefit global economic recovery at a time when COVID-19 is still raging across the world and protectionism is raising its ugly head.

By the end of 2019, China had set up more than 3.2 thousand FDI enterprises in the EU, covering the bloc’s all member states and employing more than 260, 000 foreign employees. Furthermore, in the first ten months of this year, China leapfrogged others to become the EU's biggest trading partner.

As to the EU, the China-EU investment agreement will stand as the bloc’s first bilateral investment agreement in the aftermath of the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009 when the EU gained the exclusive competence for foreign direct investment.

The CCCEU looks forward to swift signing and ratification of the agreement, which will incorporate unified legislation for Chinese companies’ investment in the 27-country EU, and expects a more stable, transparent, open, and predictable business environment that the treaty will help shape. The CCCEU as well urges China and the EU to explore the possibility of negotiating a free trade deal to further bolster Sino-EU trade relations in the post-COVID-19 era and shore up global economic recovery.