Since 2012, China has been trying to get the European Union to agree to initiate bilateral free trade agreement talks. China is absent from both the transpacific (TPP) and the transatlantic (TTIP) trade deals and wants "in" on a similarly large pact itself in order to avoid losing out on trade flows or to have to follow new "global" standards set by others. European firms, for their part, want greater openings into China and a more even playing field with domestic companies, especially State-owned enterprises.
In March 2014, Brussels agreed that once an EU-China investment treaty is concluded it will consider broader trade talks with Beijing. The investment treaty negotiations began just a few months prior, in November 2013. Once finalised, this BIT willl replace the 26 existing BITs that China has signed over the years with individual EU member states.
The EU is China’s largest trading partner, while China is the EU’s second export market.
This is the first comprehensive, high-level bilateral agreement China has ever signed with foreign businesses to protect geographic indication.
China’s all-consuming focus on sealing a US trade deal forced its top trade negotiator to cancel a trip to Brussels, raising the risk of Europe being pushed “off a cliff”.
Leaders on both sides agreed that the negotiations will lead to decisive progress by the end of the year, allowing a high-quality agreement to be concluded in 2020.
China and the EU are on track to reach a comprehensive bilateral investment treaty (BIT) by 2020, as the two sides are making "positive" progress and accelerating their negotiations, fueled by rising urgency created by the US’ trade protectionism against both Beijing and Brussels.
National treatment is a sensitive issue and also featured in a dedicated study commissioned by Brussels.
China - EU were committed to achieving "decisive progress" for the conclusion of a China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement in 2020 - the bilateral investment treaty (BIT) between China and the EU.
China and the European Union (EU) aim to conclude a comprehensive bilateral investment agreement in 2020.
In order to address some of the main outstanding issues at the EU-China summit, the EU negotiators included in their proposal sent to their Chinese counterparts to conclude by 2020 an “ambitious” EU-China investment agreement.
China and the European Union could take a more flexible approach by setting phase-based targets in bilateral investment treaty negotiations.
The EU has proposed to reform the investor-state-dispute-settlement system, a move that could further complicate negotiations with China over a bilateral investment agreement, as well as their dialogue on the Belt and Road Initiative’s implementation in Europe.