EU-China investment pact is in place

Dhe groundbreaking investment agreement between the European Union and China is about to be concluded, according to information from EU circles. China officially spoke of “great progress” on Tuesday. The negotiations at expert level were over, it was said in Brussels.

A top-level meeting on Wednesday could bring the political agreement in principle. For Chancellor Angela Merkel it would be an important achievement shortly before the end of the German EU Council Presidency.

Work on the agreement has been going on for seven years. It is intended to fundamentally reorganize the relationship between the EU and the world’s second largest economic power, China, and give European companies better access to the huge Chinese market with 1.4 billion people. At times, the talks stalled due to disputes over possible forced labor in China. The problems now seem to have been resolved.

EU Commission vice Valdis Dombrovskis had recommended a political agreement in principle with the leadership in Beijing after the negotiations were over, EU circles said. China has made the necessary “substantial commitments” in three central points: market access, fair competition and sustainable development. These included “corporate standards for social responsibility and work”.

China has promised to undertake “sustained and sustained efforts” to ratify the ILO convention on forced labor. In addition, the EU will autonomously develop further instruments to combat forced labor.

The result of the negotiations is the most ambitious that China has ever agreed with a third country, according to EU circles. It would give European investors access to all sectors of the economy, including vehicles, cloud services, financial services and healthcare.

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