New strategy to rebalance EU-China economic relations

BusinessEurope published its key strategy paper on the EU's economic relationship with China. Systemic challenges prevent European companies from untapping the economic potential of EU-China business cooperation. The obstacles created by China's state-led economy lead to market distortions in China, in the EU and in third countries. The Confederation of Industry together with the BusinessEurope call on the EU to reconsider how it engages with China, so that it can seize the opportunities and mitigate the distortions and challenges created by China's state-led economy.

BusinessEurope President Pierre Gattaz said:

"China and Europe have benefited tremendously from China's accession to the WTO in 2001. But in recent years, the consolidation of China's state-led economy over market-oriented reforms and the difficulty in achieving much-needed WTO reform have led to an imbalance in the global level playing field."

As Mr Lukas Martin, Director of the International Relations Section in the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic stated:

“The Confederation of Industry is pleased it could take its small part in putting together this comprehensive and highly informative document. It is an extremely up-to-date and interesting text to read. It is a strategy paper but do not expect a simple position document. It brings an in-depth expert analysis of a huge amount of data, thorough evidence-based findings with very interesting and down to earth recommendations.”

BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said:

"There is today a renewed sense of urgency among the European business community: the systemic challenge posed by China's market-distorting practices cannot remain unaddressed. The EU should rethink how it engages with China, with a view to securing a stronger and fairer economic relationship and levelling the playing field."

In order to rebalance the economic relationship towards a stronger and fairer one, BusinessEurope advances four key objectives for the EU to pursue:

  1. Secure a level playing field between China and the EU;
  2. Mitigate the impact of China's government-induced market distortions;
  3. Reinforce the EU's own competitiveness;
  4. Ensure fair competition and cooperation on third markets.

To achieve these four objectives, the paper lists 130 recommendations to authorities in the EU and its Member States.

The Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic (SPCR) has been a member of BusinessEurope, the Confederation of European Business, since 1993. BusinessEurope is the leading advocate for growth and competitiveness at European level and a recognized social partner. It represents 40 national business federations from 34 European countries and on their behalf regularly interacts with the European institutions and other stakeholders.

Read BusinessEurope’s strategy on rebalancing the EU-China relationship here.

Read also the executive summary in English here, in Chinese (Mandarin) here.

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