she Executive Vice President of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, and Deputy Prime Minister of the State Council, He Lifeng co-chaired the tenth EU-China High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue (HED). The HED is the main platform for the EU and China to discuss economic and financial issues, as well as trade and investment cooperation.
In particular, both sides discussed the macroeconomic situation in the EU, China and the whole world. she Executive Vice President Dombrovskis He highlighted in particular the impact of Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine on global economic growth prospects, as well as food and energy security. Both sides discussed the issues of market access and supply chain and the Executive Vice President Dombrovskis called for an improvement on the EU’s concerns about China’s market access and balancing economic and trade relations between the EU and China. based on transparency, predictability and reciprocity, as well as possible ways to improve the multilateral cooperation.
Transparent and predictable
Also discussed importance of transparent and predictable supply chains, especially for critical raw materials. Both sides agreed to continue discussions on a possible transparency mechanism for the raw materials supply chain between the EU and China. In more general terms, The EU has explained its risk reduction strategy and stressed the importance of avoiding weaponization of supply chains. the The EU does not want to break away from China. The EU defends a open and fair trade based on global trade rules, a level playing field and fair competition, and rejecting protectionism.
Trade and investment
As for trade and investment reiterated by the EU during its HED concerns about the general business environment for EU exporters and investors in China. she Executive Vice President Dombrovskis raised especially the issue of access of European companies to the Chinese market especially in the sectors of agri-food exports, medical devices, cosmetics and baby formulas. The EU and China too They committed to restart discussions on the export of alcoholic beverages. Both parties confirmed the agreement on exchange of information on export controls at the technical level, to provide a platform to clarify each other’s measurements.
Important business partners
The EU and China are important trading partners: In 2022, bilateral trade in goods increased by 23% annually to a record level of 857 billion euros. EU exports to China increased by 3.1% to €230 billion, while EU imports from China increased by 32% to €626 billion. Because of this, The EU bilateral deficit also reached a record of €396 billion, an increase of 58% compared to 2021.
on 2022, China will be the EU’s second largest goods trading partner, after the United States. It is the EU’s third largest export destination after the United States and the United Kingdom, and accounts for 9% of total EU exports. With 21% of total imports, China is the largest source of imports to the EU, surpassing the combined share of the second country (United States, 12%) and the United Kingdom (7%).
Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President and Trade Commissioner, explained after the meeting: “The European Union and China are major trading partners and our economies are closely integrated. But our relations face difficulties, particularly China’s position on Russian aggression against Ukraine, market access issues, and broader trade and investment challenges. That is why it is important to openly discuss the issues in today’s High-Level Dialogue. Our relationship needs a balance to be mutually beneficial, based on transparency, fairness, predictability and reciprocity. I am happy that we have made progress in solving some market access issues, agreeing to exchange information on export controls, creating a new working group on financial issues. services, and continuing our macroeconomic dialogues. “These are important steps at a time when European companies, which have a significant presence in China, are facing increasing difficulties.”