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China, EU Agree To Work Towards Future FTA

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

03 April 2014

Following the cooperative attitude adopted in resolving recent trade dispute talks, leaders from the European Union (EU) and China have discussed the prospect of concluding a free trade agreement (FTA) to add to investment treaty negotiations that were launched late last year.

The President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, and the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, met with China's President, Xi Jinping, in Brussels from March 31 to April 1, 2014.

In a joint statement after their meeting, the leaders reaffirmed "their shared commitment to an open global economy, and a fair, transparent, and rules-based trade and investment environment, opposing protectionism. They reaffirmed their commitment to create the conditions for enhancing trade and investment exchanges on the basis of mutual benefit."

In particular, they "welcomed the outcome of the first two rounds of negotiations on an EU-China Investment Agreement covering investment protection and market access, and looked forward to the timely conclusion of an ambitious agreement."

Concluding such an agreement, they added, "will convey both sides' joint commitment towards stronger cooperation as well as their willingness to envisage broader ambitions, including, once the conditions are right, towards a deep and comprehensive FTA, as a longer term perspective."

Both sides also expressed their satisfaction over the recently achieved solutions in major trade remedy cases between the EU and China – the negotiated settlements in disputes over EU exports of solar-grade polysilicon and wine to China, and the European Commission's decision to defer an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into imports of mobile telecommunications networks from China, to allow space for dialogue.

TAGS: tax | investment | European Commission | free trade agreement (FTA) | foreign direct investment (FDI) | tariffs | anti-dumping | investment treaty | China | agreements | trade disputes | trade | European Union (EU) | Investment | Europe | Invest | Investment

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