EU-China agree on a major investment deal

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Dec 30, 2020, 11:31 PM(IST)

European Council President Charles Michel takes part in a video conference meeting with European Commission president, German Chancellor and French and Chinese presidents to approve an investment pact between China and the European Union on December 30, 2020 in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph:( AFP )

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Calling the deal "of major economic significance", an EU statement said: "China has committed to an unprecedented level of market access for EU investors."

European Union and China on Wednesday agreed "in principle" to strike a major investment deal despite concerns over labour and human rights. The deal gives EU firms better access to Chinese market. EU-China deal may be European Union's first big deal after it successfully negotiated post-Brexit trade deal with UK recently.

"Today, the EU and China concluded in principle negotiations on an investment agreement," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted after a video call with Xi.

Calling the deal "of major economic significance", an EU statement said: "China has committed to an unprecedented level of market access for EU investors."

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China's state news agency Xinhua confirmed that the two sides had "completed investment agreement negotiations as scheduled."

In addition, the EU said China has committed to "effectively implement" International Labour Organization rules it has already ratified "and to work towards the ratification of the ILO fundamental conventions, including on forced labour."

Talks on the deal had begun as early as 2014 but EU previously said China did little to lift curbs on European investment in the country. However, reports suggest that trade war between China and the US may have brought about change in Chinese position

(With agency inputs)

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