This would not be the first time that a Sino-Chinese bilateral agreement has hampered efforts between the EU and China to achieve their trade objectives. For example, it took China two years to remove the objections made primarily by the United States (the legitimate right of a third party) to conclude the ue-China agreement on cooperation and protection of geographical indications. Nor would it be the first time that the EU and the United States have competed for access to financial markets in China. Mrs Vanderstraeten`s presentation will give you an overview of these investment negotiations, what investments are they, what are the building blocks of this agreement and, above all, what it actually contains for you? In other words, how will the EU deal with the concrete problems and barriers to market access that you face in the Chinese market? How will the EU address issues such as investment caps, forced joint ventures, forced or illegal technology transfers, discrimination against foreigners, monopolies (SOE), licensing restrictions and other everyday problems facing EU industry in China? The presentation also addresses issues such as how the EU will ensure investment protection (for example. (B) compliance with written commitments of the Chinese government) and the implementation of the agreement. Indeed, more than 40,000 new foreign companies were created in China in 2019, while the number of projects financed abroad reached 834 with investments of at least $100 million. In 2020, the trend remains strong, with investment by European companies – mainly from Germany, the Netherlands and France – in China in the second quarter of the year amounting to about $2.3 billion. Should China implement new reforms and thus meet EU requirements, trade and investment between the two regions will inevitably increase, given legal guarantees such as transparency of regulations and subsidy policies and equal market conditions. Nearly a decade has passed and, although some progress has been made, many tensions remain. Today, EU officials say the chances of reaching an agreement by the end of the year – a deadline that Agatha Kratz, associate director of the research consultancy group, has described as “futile” – are slim. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen recently said after a high-level dialogue with Chinese President Xi Jinping: “China must convince us that it is worth having an investment agreement.” And the EU is preparing to put in place mechanisms to protect and limit foreign investment in Europe that would operate independently of the AIC. The EU rightly refers to the agreement of the first phase, because financial service providers in the EU and the United States have the same complaints about access to the Chinese financial market. What is embarrassing is that the concessions between China and the United States are reciprocal, which means that they will not extend to the EU or other third parties.
The PGI agreement, concluded in November 2019 and in force from 2021, marks an important step in EU-China trade cooperation, as when it comes into force, it will bring reciprocal trade benefits and allow consumers to obtain quality products guaranteed on both sides.