EU-China summit

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The FINANCIAL — The 17th bilateral summit between the European Union and the People’s Republic of China took place in Brussels on Monday 29 June 2015. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council and Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China celebrated the 40th anniversary of EU-China diplomatic relations, acknowledging the significant strides in the political, economic, social, environmental and cultural relations between the EU and China.

The EU and China have agreed a joint summit declaration and held a joint press conference, according to the European Commission.

High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission Federica Mogherini also participated, alongside Vice President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen and Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström. President Juncker and Vice-President Katainen also spoke at the EU-China Business Summit and Urbanisation Forum in the margins of the Summit.

During the Summit, the leaders of both sides reconfirmed their commitment to reinforcing cooperation on the protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property (IP) Rights. The EU-China IP Dialogue Mechanism was further reinforced with the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding by Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström and the Chinese Minister of Commerce, Gao Hucheng. Its main objective is the improvement of the IP environment as one of the key conditions to promote creativity, innovation and investment, and the deepening of mutual understanding and public awareness of IP issues in the EU and China. It includes mutual commitment to developing joint initiatives to support the protection and enforcement of IP rights, including trade secrets, and the fight against online counterfeiting and piracy.

The EU and China today also committed to facilitating trade between the two sides thanks to a new landmark customs agreement. The two sides said in a joint statement that they would take all the necessary technical steps to pave the way for a mutual recognition agreement that will come into force in November 2015, which will allow EU and Chinese trusted traders to enjoy lower costs, simplified procedures and greater predictability in their activities. Mutual Recognition of Authorised Economic Operator means that companies will benefit from faster controls and reduced administration for customs clearance. Mutual recognition of trusted traders also allows customs to focus their resources on real risk areas, which improves supply chain security on both sides. The EU is the first trading partner to enter into such an agreement with China, having signed similar deals with the USA (2012) and Japan (2011).

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Trade between China and the EU is worth more than €1 billion every day. Today, we form the second-largest economic cooperation in the world. Bilateral trade in goods reached € 467.2 billion in 2014. China expressed interest in the EU’s € 315 billion Investment Plan, which was welcomed by Commission Vice-President Katainen who will continue discussions with China when he visits the country for the High Level Economic Dialogue on 28 September.

The EU and China also agreed to step up their cooperation to fight climate change. In the EU-China Statement on Climate Change both sides commit to embark on low-carbon development and cooperate on developing a cost-effective low-carbon economy. The statement also highlights the importance of low-carbon investments and the need to increase ambition over time under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. They agreed to intensify the bilateral climate cooperation for example in the areas of domestic mitigation policies, carbon markets, low-carbon cities, greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation and maritime industries, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFC). The on-going cooperation on emissions trading will be expanded, in view of China’s plans to establish a nationwide emissions trading system by 2020.

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and Wan Gang, Chinese Minister for Science and Technology, agreed today to step up EU-China cooperation in the field of research and innovation at the 2nd EU-China Innovation Co-operation Dialogue, in the margins of Summit. The EU and China decided to set up a new co-funding mechanism to support joint research and innovation projects in strategic areas. This will be funded through Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme, and research and innovation funding programmes on the Chinese side. They will also work to ensure reciprocal access to their respective research and innovation funding programmes through participation rules, regular exchange of data and the timely provision of information to participants.

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In addition, Commissioner Moedas and Minister Wan signed an agreement to launch a new research initiativeto facilitate young Chinese scientists supported by the National Natural Science Foundation (NSFC) to join projects funded by the European Research Council (ERC). The agreement is expected to lead to the first scientific exchanges later this autumn. Anew collaborative research arrangementbetween the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (CAS-RADI) will also contribute to addressing global challenges such as sustainable development, climate action and disaster risk reduction.

On behalf of Corina Creţu, Commissioner for Regional Policy, Commissioner Moedas also signed with Mr XU Shaoshi, Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission in China, a Joint Statement on “Comprehensively Deepening EU-China Regional Policy Cooperation”. This will further strengthen cooperation including on innovation and urban development, with direct exchanges between regions and cities from both sides.


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