EU-China High-level Economic and Trade Dialogue held in Beijing

EU-China High-level Economic and Trade Dialogue held in Beijing
European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen © European People’s Party

At the 7th annual High-level Economic and Trade Dialogue in Beijing, China, the EU and China discussed opportunities for the two parties to harness globalisation.

Within the overall topic of ‘harnessing globalisation’, discussions at the 7th EU-China High-level Economic and Trade Dialogue featured a number of specific strategies to promote economic growth between the two global powers. The meeting was co-chaired by European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen and Vice Premier of the State Council Liu He, responsible for EU-China relations.

Under discussion were a range of topics, including:

  • Support for a multilateral trading system;
  • The digital economy;
  • Global economic governance;
  • Climate and environmental co-operation; and
  • Negotiations on geographical indications.

The talks were held in advance of an upcoming EU-China summit, at which European authorities hope to secure an announcement regarding geographical indications. These are symbols used on products to indicate that they have a specific geographical origin, and bear characteristics typical of products from the region in question.

What economic progress was made at the talks?

One result of the meeting was that both the EU and China indicated a joint commitment to signing a memorandum of understanding on the circular economy, and another on the establishment of a new emissions trading system. China also confirmed its commitment to accede to the World Trade Organization’s Government Procurement Agreement.

Meanwhile, Katainen urged China to tackle the challenges of overcapacity in sectors such as steel and aluminium – both of which products are now subject to steep import tariffs in the US – and also in technological sectors.

For Katainen, the dialogue was a vital part of the groundwork for the upcoming summit, and secured a number of vital agreements which will strengthen economic progress. He stated: “I am confident that the exchanges we have had with my new counterpart, Liu He, have been useful in paving the way towards a successful EU-China Summit in the economic and trade field. I am particularly pleased with the progress achieved in our investment negotiations and look forward to an exchange of offers at the summit.”

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