The EU and China: Agreement in principle reached on investment

Source: German presidency of the EU (German presidency) i, published on Wednesday, December 30 2020.

After intensive negotiations, the heads of the EU and China have agreed in principle via video conference on a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment. The agreement is a success for the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The agreement provides European businesses with greater access to the Chinese market, creates a level playing field for companies on both sides and lays the groundwork for more sustainable development.

China commits to open its markets to EU investors more than ever before. EU companies will be given fairer treatment when they compete with state-owned firms. Subsidies will be made transparent, and rules will be put in place against the forced transfer of technologies. What is more, China has for the first time agreed to put into effect provisions on sustainable development. This includes commitments on forced labour and ratification of the relevant fundamental Conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

A video conference on Wednesday was attended, on the EU side, by President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. The Chinese side was represented by President Xi Jinping. Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron also attended the virtual meeting.