Braving the turmoil in EU

In 2016, Chinese MOFCOM comprehensively implemented the spirits of the 18th CPC National Congress, the third, fourth, fifth and sixth Plenary Sessions of the 18th CPC Central Committee, made in-depth study and carried out the speech spirits of General-Secretary Xi Jinping. In accordance with the unified deployment of the central committee and the State Council, we further deepened trade and economic exchanges with the EU and the European countries, steadily promoted the dialogue and cooperation in trade and economic areas and enhanced the sustainable, steady and sound development of China-Europe trade and economic cooperation.

Frequent visits by high-level officials consolidated the political basis of China-Europe trade and economic cooperation. In 2016, President Xi Jinping visited Czech, Poland and Serbia consecutively, and Premier Li Keqiang visited Latvia. China’s leaders have visited 9 European countries and the headquarter of the EU, and the EU leaders and Presidents or chief government heads from 13 European countries also visited China or attended activities in China. The two sides have signed more than 50 business agreements with a value of over US$11 billion, covering extensive areas of finance, environmental protection, machine manufacturing, aviation, new energy, chemical industry, and infrastructure and cross-border e-commerce. China-Europe Leaders’ Summit, China-Europe High-level Dialogue on Trade and Commerce and the Summit of China-Central and Eastern European Countries were successively held. While strengthening win-win cooperation, China and Europe made joint efforts to erase trade friction, and solved major concerns of both sides. In September, leaders from Germany, France, Italy, UK and Spain have come to China for the G20 Hangzhou Summit. Europe and China have made close contacts and laid a solid basis for both sides to strengthen cooperation in international affairs and improve global economic governance.

Deep strategic docking intensified interest integration of Europe and China in various areas.1. The two sides made active efforts to promote the docking of “Belt and Road” initiative and European Investment Plan and reach consensus on cooperation at project level under the framework of “China-Europe Investment Fund”. 2. China-Europe connectivity platform construction made major progress. Its work mechanism and priority action list for exemplary projects have been confirmed. 3. Europe and China established a digital economic panel and online security panel to improve the top-level design and mechanism construction of China-Europe digital economic cooperation. China and Germany set up a coordinated mechanism for “Made in China 2025” and “German Industry 4.0”. 4. Major progress was made in bilateral cooperation in cyclic economy and green development, 5G and financial areas to expand both depth and width of China-Europe cooperation.

Two-way investment steadily increased, reflecting great potential of China-Europe trade and economic cooperation. Regarding investment, the EU investment in China increased by large margin and has become the highlight of bilateral trade and economic cooperation. In January-October, the EU’s actual investment in China amounted to US$7.56 billion, up 35.4% year on year; over the same period of time, Chinese M&A in Europe also recurred frequently. In terms of the imported technology, Europe has been China’s largest technology source. By the end of October, 2016, China has introduced more than 50,000 technology from Europe with a contract value of nearly US$200 billion.

Remarkable achievements have been made in government-enterprises dialogue, enhancing China-Europe business exchanges and communication. On the one hand, government dialogue mechanism was constantly improved. Since 2016, Premier Li Keqiang and Chancellor of Germany Merkel have co-chaired the 4th round of China-Germany Government Negotiation.MOFCOM, EU and 17 European countries jointly held a joint commission of trade and commerce and reached extensive consensus on jointly promoting the “Belt and Road” construction, infrastructure connectivity and local cooperation. On the other hand, business exchanges became frequent and were constantly deepened. During the World Internet Conference held in November, MOFCOM hosted the “China-Europe Digital Economy Forum”, about 200 governmental and business representatives from China, France, and Italy attended the forum, they exchanged ideas on China and Europe digital economy policy and practice and discussed potential cooperation opportunities. China and Germany Economic Counselor Committee continued to play the role of “the second track” in providing suggestions and serving enterprises. Business exchange mechanisms like China-Italy Entrepreneurs Committee were improved to promote a total business project value of over Euro 2 billion to be signed between China and Europe enterprises, covering high-speed railway, automobile, steel and environmental protection areas.

Fruitful results have been made in 16+1 cooperation, which has become a major starting point to implement the “Belt and Road” initiative. 1. Bilateral trade continued to grow. In January-October, the bilateral trade value amounted to US$47.7 billion, up 3.6% year on year. 2.Two-way investment areas were expanded. According to incomplete statistics, investment from 16 central and eastern European countries have exceeded US$1.3 billion, covering machine manufacturing, auto parts, chemical industry, finance and environmental protection areas. Chinese enterprises made a combined investment of over US$5 billion in central and eastern European countries, covering machinery, chemical industry, Internet Technology, telecommunications, home appliance, new energy, logistics commerce and financial areas. 3. Infrastructure and connectivity have become new highlights for bilateral cooperation and projects in general get on well.

Cooperation in the third party market was promoted, driving the China-Europe trade and economic cooperation. Some enterprises have tried the bebefcial third party market cooperation in forms of strategic cooperation, equity merger and joint venture enterprises.

Local cooperation became mature, starting a new model for China-Europe mutually beneficial cooperation. China-France Care for the Elderly Cooperation Pilots (Langfang) and China-UK Local Trade and Economic Cooperation Mechanism have made progress. Qingdao, Ningbo, Nanchang and Xuzhou were listed as the first batch of pilot cities for China-UK local trade and economic cooperation; Shenzhen established “China-Europe Enterprises Development Cooperation Alliance.” China-Germany Cooperation Parks in Taicang, Shenyang, Jieyang, Sichuan and Anhui were fully advanced and the outward co-operations of China-Germany, China-Italy, China-France, China-Austria and China-Finland Ecological Parks were consistently expanded.

2017 is a major year for the implementation of the 13th five-year plan and also a year to deepen the supply-side structural reforms. Standing on a new start and facing more complicated international political and economic situation, MOFCOM will focus on the layout of “Belt and Road” construction, continue to promote the docking of China-Europe development strategy, deepen China-Europe pragmatic cooperation in trade and commerce, deal with trade frictions and differences well and strive for the four partnerships of “peace, growth, reform, civilization” between China and Europe and greet the 19th CPC National Congress with good achievements.

Source: http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/article/newsrelease/significantnews/201702/20170202514652.shtml

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