Chinese ambassador to EU calls for non-discriminatory business environment

Updated: September 21, 2020 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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China and the European Union (EU) should foster an open, fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for market players from both sides, Zhang Ming, head of the Chinese Mission to the EU, has said.

According to the updates of the mission's website on Friday, Zhang made the remarks while delivering a keynote speech at a webinar organized by the European Policy Center on Thursday.

He said that China's efforts to expand opening-up and improve the business environment are widely recognized, "yet it seems that the EU is moving in the opposite direction."

The recent steps taken by the EU in such areas as 5G, FDI screening, government procurement and competition policy have got the Chinese government, businesses and media very much concerned, the envoy noted. "We hope that the EU takes Chinese concerns seriously and keeps its trade and investment markets open."

Despite the impact of COVID-19, he said, China-EU trade in the first half of this year grew by 2.2 percent year on year, amounting to 275.6 billion euros (326.9 billion U.S. dollars). The share of China in the EU's foreign trade rose to 15.6 percent.

Most EU companies in China continue to make profits, 30 percent of which have a profitability rate of 20 percent, according to the report of the EU Chamber of Commerce. Nearly 90 percent of EU companies operating in China choose to stay, Zhang said.

"For China and the EU, cooperation is not an expediency, but a strategic choice aiming for mutual benefit," the envoy said.

Expecting China and the EU will play a more prominent role in each other's external cooperation, he called on both sides to explore new areas of cooperation more proactively.

"In the coming decade, China's service imports will reach 10 trillion U.S. dollars. China and the EU need to seize this opportunity to expand trade in services to bring our economic and trade cooperation to a higher level," he said.

The two sides could, under the framework of the high-level environment and climate dialogue and the high-level digital cooperation dialogue, further unleash the potential in these frontier areas and step up cooperation on technology, standards and rules-setting, the envoy noted. 

Editor: Ting Liu