Posted on Dec 29, 2020
China and the EU are expected to reach a deal this week that would give EU firms better access to the Chinese market, improve competition conditions and protect EU investment in China, Reuters reports.
Talks on the investment deal began in 2014, but were stuck for years as the EU said China was failing to make good on promises to lift curbs on EU investment despite a pledge to open up the world’s second largest economy.
But tensions in trade relations between the United States and China may have helped change the Chinese position and bring about a deal between Beijing and Brussels, officials said.
“The talks are about to be concluded. It’s looking good. There are only some minor details left which need to be hammered out,” an EU official with knowledge of the talks told Reuters.
“As things stand now, the political agreement between the EU and China will be sealed on Wednesday.”
Other officials close to the talks said that under the deal China would open up its manufacturing sector to EU companies, as well as construction, advertising, air transport, maritime services, telecoms and, to some extent, cloud computing.
“We get much better market access and the protection of our investments in China. Better market access is something we have been working for for many years, and the Chinese have made quite a big step towards us,” a senior EU official said.
Talks on investment protection, however, are likely to continue next year and be concluded later, according to an agreed timeline.
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