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The China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement has finally landed!

(Summary description)From 2013 to 2020, the China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement, which has been negotiated for seven years, finally came into effect, which is a major event between China and Europe.

The China-EU

The China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement has finally landed!

(Summary description)From 2013 to 2020, the China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement, which has been negotiated for seven years, finally came into effect, which is a major event between China and Europe.

The China-EU

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From 2013 to 2020, the China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement, which has been negotiated for seven years, finally came into effect, which is a major event between China and Europe.

 

The China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement is one of the toughest negotiations between China and Europe. Let's see how difficult it is.

 

1. The seven-year itch or the seven-year joy?

 

The China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement is a long story, and the starting point is still 2013. In October 2013, the EU Council commissioned the European Commission to negotiate an investment agreement with China on behalf of the EU, and the EU-China Investment Agreement negotiations were announced for the first time.

 

The first round of negotiations was held in January 2014, and the round and round progress of the negotiations lasted for 6 years. Until recently, there was no news that the EU and China would reach an agreement. The whole process was nearly 7 years.

 

People have a seven-year itch, and the seven years between China and the EU have had twists and turns. However, with the rapid development of China's economy, there is no doubt that the bilateral relations between China and the EU have grown by leaps and bounds. This is also the basis for the continuous advancement of the China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement.

 

Today, the results of the China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement were announced, which is a joy!

 

2. After 35 rounds of talks, what is the difficulty?

 

As of the beginning of this month, in the past seven years, China and the EU have conducted 35 rounds of negotiations for this agreement, and it is self-evident that the middle is difficult. People who don't know will ask: Where is the difficulty?

 

This starts with the content of the negotiation. As early as when the two sides first started negotiating, the name of the agreement was actually the China-EU BIT, which is the "China-EU Investment Agreement".

 

Since the 24th round of negotiations, both China and the EU have found that the scope of the negotiations is getting wider and wider, so they changed the name to the "China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement". The difference between them lies in the addition of the word "comprehensive".

 

Why is the word "comprehensive" added? The so-called BIT investment agreement is mainly aimed at trade disputes and investment disputes. With the rapid development of China, great changes have taken place in attracting foreign investment and foreign direct investment. An investment agreement cannot solve the problem. At this point, a comprehensive investment agreement is in place.

 

Because it is comprehensive, there are many concerns, many questions, and a lot to talk about. The EU has always complained that China has not fulfilled its promise to lift restrictions on EU investment, and China has its own ideas on EU restrictions on Chinese investment. For China and the European Union, two of the world's most important economies, reaching an agreement will not happen overnight.

 

3. What do China and the EU think?

 

For China, the significance of this agreement is no trivial matter. If successfully signed, it will be the first comprehensive and comprehensive investment protection agreement concluded by China, which mainly covers four aspects: investment liberalization, investment protection, dispute settlement and sustainable development.

 

For the EU, the successful signing of this agreement means that the EU's benefits in China, the world's largest market, have increased. This is undoubtedly a good thing for the 27 member states of the EU. An EU diplomat said no member state wanted to stop and all delegates were happy with the new progress in the talks.

 

Of course, there are still internal disputes, and the European Commission also admits: "This is not a perfect deal."

 

Speaking of which, I have to thank Germany. As the locomotive and big brother of the EU, Germany's attitude is very important.

 

Many Europeans believe that this negotiation, in fact, is mainly a negotiation between China and Germany, mainly held between Beijing and Berlin. At a critical moment, Germany's message to the EU is that, from the perspective of the future, signing an agreement now will be the best condition China has given to Europe.

 

Among them, the most important force supporting China is German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Sources within Germany say that, thanks to Germany's efforts, "the road to political support has been paved" for the investment pact. This has two meanings: First, as the rotating presidency of the European Council, Germany's term of office has come to a successful end. Second, Merkel, who is about to end her last term in office, has finally paid off for her tireless work on the agreement.

 

During her tenure in office, Merkel visited China 12 times, with the shortest interval being less than 3 months. Such visits to China are rare in the world or in Europe. As a result, Merkel has a better understanding of China's development and is more able to see the opportunities China's development brings to Europe.

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