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Xinhua Commentary: A solid step towards stronger China-EU economic ties

Abstract : China and the European Union (EU) announced on Wednesday that they have completed the negotiations over a bilateral investment agreement as scheduled, marking a solid step towards forging a closer and more productive economic partnership between the two sides.

BEIJING, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) — China and the European Union (EU)
announced on Wednesday that they have completed the negotiations over a
bilateral investment agreement as scheduled, marking a solid step
towards forging a closer and more productive economic partnership
between the two sides.

The conclusion of the talks has laid a firm foundation for both sides
to finally sign the agreement, sends a message of inspiration and hope
to a world still grappling with the raging COVID-19 pandemic and a dark
economic recession, and stands as a major boost for multilateralism.

The fact that Beijing and Brussels can eventually meet each other
half way after many years of negotiations has demonstrated a willingness
by both sides to go beyond their differences for the sake of the
greater good.

The lead up to this milestone breakthrough has been fraught with
difficulty. However, the substantial progress Beijing has achieved over
the years to broaden market access and improve its domestic business
environment, as well as the sincerity it has manifested all along have
played a key role in ensuring the negotiations a success. The hard-won
progress shows that the common sense has prevailed: China and the EU are
each other’s development opportunities rather than challenges.

When the two sides ultimately seal the deal and put it into practice,
investors from China and the EU will gain an easier and broader access
to each other’s market, thus further enriching China-EU already-close
cooperation, as well as amplifying their extensive common interests in
boosting free trade and global growth.

Over the past decades, China and the EU have maintained stable and
healthy relations across a number of areas, especially since they
established a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2003. Beijing and
Brussels have also partnered up in handling a raft of global challenges
such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2019, two-way trade reached 4.86 trillion yuan (roughly 740
billion U.S. dollars), growing at 8 percent year-on-year. Despite the
pandemic and the stifling economic woes induced by the outbreak this
year, bilateral economic cooperation continues to march forward,
including the signing of a China-EU geographical indications agreement
in September.

The completion of the negotiations on Wednesday also marks a strong boost for multilateralism.

The world is struggling in the worst economic disaster since the
Great Depression of the 1930s. The International Monetary Fund has
projected a deep recession in 2020 with a sharp 4.4 percent drop in
global growth and warned the calamity “is likely to be long, uneven and
highly uncertain.”

Both China and the EU are major global economies and stabilizing
forces with about a quarter of the world’s population and one third of
gross global product. At an age of rising protectionism, unilateralism
and economic nationalism, it is crucial for China and the 27-member bloc
to step up efforts to strengthen trade and investment, stabilize global
industrial and supply chains, and set an example in building a more
open, equitable and inclusive business environment.

The freshly unveiled achievement by China and EU testifies to their
relentless dedication to multilateralism, gives a shot of confidence to
frustrated investors on both sides and the wider world, and will help
facilitate global trade and economic integration and energize global
recovery during these trying times.

The completion of the negotiations signifies a new starting point.
Future work to rejuvenate the anemic global economy could be as
difficult as it is unpredictable.

China has largely brought the deadly virus under control and emerged
as the only major economy with positive growth this year. It will carry
forth its commitment to greater opening-up and high-quality development,
and offering more opportunities for global investors.

Both China and the EU should grasp the historic opportunity, build on
the hard-won achievement at hand, continue to bolster bilateral
cooperation, and work together to steer their economic and trade ties
toward a more open, stable and balanced future.

The world is craving a robust recovery. A more dynamic China-EU
partnership can and will help deliver that much-anticipated comeback.
Enditem

About Xinhua Silk Road

Xinhua Silk Road (en.imsilkroad.com) is the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) portal.China’s silk road economic belt and the 21st century maritime silk road website,includes BRI Policy, BRI Trade, BRI Investment, Belt and Road weekly, Know Belt and Road, and the integrated information services for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Source: Xinhua Commentary: A solid step towards stronger China-EU economic ties

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