China and the European Union aim to conclude a comprehensive bilateral investment agreement in 2020, according to a joint statement issued by the two sides in Brussels yesterday.
China and the EU commit to achieving in the course of 2019 the decisive progress required, notably with regard to the liberalization commitments, for the conclusion of an ambitious China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement in 2020, the statement said.
The high level of ambition, the statement added, will be reflected in substantially improved market access, the elimination of discriminatory requirements and practices affecting foreign investors, the establishment of a balanced investment protection framework, and the inclusion of provisions on investment and sustainable development.
The statement came after the 21st China-EU leaders’ meeting, which was co-chaired by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
In the statement, both sides also pledged to build their economic relationship on openness, non-discrimination and fair competition, ensuring a level playing field, transparency, and based on mutual benefits.
“China and the EU commit to ensure equitable and mutually beneficial cooperation in bilateral trade and investment,” the statement said, reiterating the two sides’ willingness to enhance bilateral economic cooperation, trade and investment, and to provide each other with broader and more facilitated, non-discriminatory market access.
“With this in mind, China and the EU will intensify work toward finding mutually agreeable solutions to a number of key barriers as identified by both parties,” the statement said.
The two sides also reaffirmed their commitment to multilateralism and opposition to protectionism. The leaders reiterated their respect for international law and for fundamental norms governing international relations, with the United Nations at the core.
The two sides commit to upholding the UN Charter and international law, and all three pillars of the UN system, namely peace and security, development, and human rights, the joint statement said.
China and the EU firmly support the rules-based multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization at its core, fight against unilateralism and protectionism, and commit to complying with WTO rules, it said.
The two sides reaffirmed their joint commitment to cooperation on WTO reform to ensure its continued relevance and allow it to address global trade challenges. They agreed to intensify discussions on strengthening international rules on industrial subsidies, and continue working to resolve the crisis in the WTO Appellate Body.
They also underlined their support to the G20 in continuing to play its active role as the premier forum in international economic and financial cooperation, and agreed to promote the G20, in the spirit of partnership and the principle of consensus, to make more contributions to upholding multilateralism, improving global economic governance and boosting global economic growth.