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2021-05-28 | All chapters

European Chamber Stance on the European Parliament Freezing of the CAI Ratification Process

Background

On 20th May 2021, the European Parliament voted to freeze any considerations on the ratification of the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI). The text was approved by 599 votes in favour, with 30 against and 58 abstentions.

Stance

The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (European Chamber) supported the negotiation for the CAI for many years and was very pleased to see the EU and China come to a political agreement in December 2020. It regrets that the subsequent diplomatic friction between the EU and China has resulted in an indefinite freezing of the CAI’s ratification process.

The European business community in China hopes that each side will now consider how they might proceed with their end of the deal.

The European Chamber urges both the EU and China to deepen their engagement in other areas where possible. Diplomatic setbacks should be compartmentalised so as to not damage areas of mutual interest. Climate change, biodiversity, international development, WTO reform, international standards setting and alignment on digitalisation should therefore remain important topics for EU-China cooperation.

“After seven years of negotiations, it seems we will need another seven years for ratification of the CAI,” said Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. “In the meantime, China can demonstrate good faith by unilaterally realising its commitments and further advancing its reform and opening up agenda, which is in its best interests in any case.”

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Betty Feng