The European Union and China held on July 28 their 8th High-Level Trade and Economic Dialogue (HED). Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, accompanied by Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan, held the meeting via videoconference with Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He accompanied by several Vice-Ministers. The HED focused on the joint response to coronavirus and global economic governance issues, bilateral trade and investment concerns, and cooperation in the area of financial services and taxation, as a follow up to discussions in the EU-China Summit on 22 June.
Global powers, global partners
The meeting allowed the two sides to exchange views on the ongoing negotiations on a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment following the last negotiating round which took place on 20-24 July. The EU registered the significant progress made on level playing field related issues, while highlighting that equally significant work that still remains to be done on key issues such as market access and sustainable development.
With regards to market access, the EU recalled its request to China to authorise Member States’ exports of agricultural products currently awaiting export authorisation, as it is the case in the beef and poultry sector. The EU also outlined its concerns about new restrictions introduced on food exports, on the ground of controlling the coronavirus pandemic, leading to an increased number of unjustified inspections, controls and requests for certificates on EU exports of agricultural products.
Commissioner Hogan said: “EU-China bilateral and trade relations must be based on the key principles of reciprocity and level-playing field based on clear and predictable rules. Today I have called upon China to engage in serious reform of the multilateral system and its rulebook and to remove the existing barriers impeding access to the Chinese market of EU exporters of goods and services as well as of European investors. Such an approach by China would show a level of responsibility which reflects its economic and trade importance.”
Trading with China
The European Union and China are two of the biggest traders in the world. China is now the EU’s second-biggest trading partner behind the United States and the EU is China’s biggest trading partner.
- China is the EU’s biggest source of imports and its second-biggest export market. China and Europe trade on average over €1 billion a day
- EU’s main imports from China are industrial and consumer goods, machinery and equipment, and footwear and clothing
- EU main exports to China are: machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, aircraft, and chemicals
- EU-China trade in services amounts to more than 10% of total trade in goods, and the EU’s exports of services make up 19% of EU’s total exports of goods
Find out which Greek products are benefiting from the EU-China trade agreement.