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China-European Union Investment Agreement Close to Complete

Dec. 29, 2020 (EIRNS)—Chinese economists reported to Global Times that the negotiations between China and the EU for an investment agreement are close to reaching a conclusion.

“Significant progress has been made on a long-awaited investment treaty between China and the EU, China’s Foreign Ministry revealed on Tuesday, sending a bullish signal for a major breakthrough in the economic and trade relationship between two of the world’s largest economies. Describing negotiations over the China-EU Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), also known as the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), as the most important agenda for the current China-EU relationship, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told a regular press conference Tuesday that under the two sides’ joint efforts, the CAI talks have made significant progress and the prospects (of signing the treaty) are foreseeable.”

The BIT talks began in 2013 and have included 35 rounds of negotiations since then. Cui Hongjian, the director of the Department of European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies (who addressed the Schiller Institute April 2013 conference in Frankfurt, Germany) told Global Times on today, “Wang’s remarks send out a very positive signal that a breakthrough is expected as soon as this week.”

The trade accord, writes Global Times, will

“commit China to lifting foreign shareholding limits in the automobile and telecom sectors. It will also increase market access for EU firms in financial services such as banking, according to Politico, citing Jörg Wuttke, president of the EU Chamber of Commerce in China.... In the financial arena, China has ramped up the removal of foreign ownership restrictions this year, opening its securities, fund management and futures sectors to foreign investors.”

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