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Market access on agenda of EU talks

Ren Xiaojin/Zhong Nan
Updated: Jun 29,2018 6:55 AM     China Daily

China and the European Union aim to reach accord in a number of areas, including market access, in the 20th China-EU Summit next month, the Ministry of Commerce said on June 28.

Gao Feng, the ministry’s spokesman, said China and the EU will hold the 18th round of China-EU trade and investment agreement negotiations soon, as both sides are seeking to reach the agreement in areas such as investment condition, resources for investor disputes and regulatory procedures to increase confidence of companies from both sides investing in each other’s markets.

In the face of increasing uncertainties, China and the EU have pledged to work together to push forward free trade and globalization while deepening bilateral cooperation in various fields including services, high-end manufacturing and agricultural products trade.

“The cooperation between China and Europe will bring new growth momentum to the world economy, as both sides strongly oppose unilateralism and protectionism,” he said.

He said the 7th China-EU High-level Economic and Trade Dialogue held in Beijing on June 25 laid a solid foundation for the upcoming 20th China-EU Summit. He said a number of agreements in global economic governance, the multilateral trading system, digital economy, climate and environment were reached during the dialogue.

Responding to a question referring to the recently released Trade and Investment Barriers Report by the European Commission, which ranks China second among countries with reported active barriers, Gao said from his first impression such an assessment is not entirely objective, and the two sides have different desired results in market access and the erasing of trade barriers.

“China will keep opening-up and facilitate trade and investment,” Gao added. The ministry is currently conducting careful evaluation on the report.

The report said China’s new laws and regulation on cybersecurity, medical devices, new energy vehicles and the reintroduction of customs duties on ITA (information technology agreement) products, as well as forced key technology transfers have built up trade barriers.

“There is no evidence that shows China is forcing foreign companies to disclose key technologies,” said Wang Shouwen, vice-minister of commerce. “No one knows China’s intellectual property laws better than the foreign companies in China. According to recently released research by the EU Chamber of Commerce in China, the concern over intellectual property comes at the end of the list among the items EU companies worry about.”

“Why don’t they complain about it? Because China has done well in intellectual property protection,” he said.

“We regret to say that some World Trade Organization members still refuse to stop the unfair surrogate country approach under the anti-dumping investigation” Wang added. “We have filed a WTO dispute case over such an approach against the EU.”

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