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2018-07-16 | All chapters

European Chamber takes key role in EU-China Business Roundtable to raise concerns with political leadership

Beijing, 16th July 2018 – During today’s EU-China Business Roundtable, part of the larger EU-China Summit, European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (European Chamber) President Mats Harborn led a small delegation of members in a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The delegation delivered a series of short speeches to China’s and the EU’s leadership on various matters relating to doing business in China, as well as the progress and shortcomings that have been noted in the reform agenda over the last year.

Several important announcements were made as a result of broader negotiations between the EU and China, including the following:

  • Market access offers were exchanged for the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), which now need to be assessed in more detail by both sides.
  • Negotiators reached a basic agreement on geographical indications, an important issue for European producers, particularly those in the agriculture, food and beverage sectors.
  • A joint EU-China working group to address potential reforms to the WTO will be established.

Although yet to be approved by the EU and China, the European Chamber is encouraged by these developments and hopes to see them lead to tangible results on the ground in the near future.

“Many of the issues that I and other European Chamber members raised today have been formally addressed in China’s high-level policies, most of which articulate a sweeping vision of economic reform and opening,” said European Chamber President Mats Harborn. “However, we have noted that too many of these fail to trickle down to the working level. Until policies lead to tangible results for European businesses, we will continue to engage all levels of government to achieve a truly open and fair Chinese market.”

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June Yu