EU, China investment pact talks at 'critical stage'Business | 17 Jan 2020 4:19 pm
Negotiations on an investment agreement between the European Union and China are progressing and have entered a "critical stage" after six years of talks, a senior EU official said today, Reuters reports.
Progress in being achieved "month after month," in a deal in which the EU is seeking more market access for European businesses in China, Nicolas Chapuis, EU ambassador to China, said in a news briefing in Beijing.
Sabine Weyand, the European Commission's director general for trade, said in Brussels in December that negotiations were moving at a "snail's pace," the Financial Times reported.
European companies called on EU policy-makers on yesterday to toughen their approach to China to secure a level playing field for European businesses.
Both the EU and China have said they hope to conclude negotiations in 2020.
China is prioritising its diplomatic relations with Europe, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said in December, highlighting Beijing's efforts to become less dependent on the United States after months of trade tensions.
Chapuis also said he had been given assurances by the Chinese government yesterday that the recently signed phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China would "in no way" affect European businesses.