On 30th December 2020, The EU and China concluded in principle the negotiations for a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI).
The deal includes commitments by China on a greater level of market access for EU investors, in particular on manufacturing. In the sectors covered, European business will gain certainty and predictability for their operations as China will no longer be able to prohibit access or introduce new discriminatory practices. The agreement also includes guarantees that will make it easier for European companies to obtain authorisations and complete administrative procedures. It also secures access to China’s standard setting bodies for European companies.
China has also committed to ensure fair treatment for EU companies so they can compete on a better level playing field in China, including in terms of disciplines for state owned enterprises, transparency of subsidies and rules against the forced transfer of technologies. For the first time, China has also agreed to ambitious provisions on sustainable development, including commitments on forced labour and the ratification of the relevant ILO fundamental Conventions.