BEIJING — China and the United States are finalizing text checks on a bilateral investment treaty and will formally exchange negative lists at the beginning of next year, Vice-Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said on Dec 16.
The BIT negotiations are considered the most important issue in the two nation’s economic relationship.
Zhu underlined that the two countries sought a transparent investment treaty that was free of discrimination.
China and the United States both wish to complete negotiations within Obama’s term, Zhu said at an economic forum in Beijing
Talks on the treaty began in 2008 as both countries sought to increase mutual investment, which only accounted for a tiny share of their overseas investment.
Last year, bilateral trade volume increased to $520 billion, and outstanding two-way investment rose to $100 billion.
At last month’s summit, the world’s two biggest economies agreed to accelerate the bilateral investment treaty negotiations with the aim of achieving agreements on the treaty’s core issues and major provisions by the end of the year.
Both countries agreed more resources were needed in the negotiation process to cement a comprehensive high-standard bilateral investment treaty, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
The treaty is expected to cement the foundation of China-US economic ties and significantly benefit global trade, Zhu said.
At the forum, he also said China had noticed an American think tank’s proposal of a Sino-US free trade area, adding that China was open to suggestions that could benefit global economic integration and promote world economic growth.