China & European Union Announce Grand Plan for Strategic Cooperation

China and the European Union (EU) released the “China-EU 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Agenda’)” at the 16th China-EU Summit on November 21, which maps out strategic China-EU cooperation through 2020.

The Agenda is a milestone in the China-EU relationship as both sides have decided to combine their targets.

“The Agenda is unprecedented in its breadth of content, ranging from aerospace and counter-piracy to urbanization and energy,” said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

The two sides have also started talks on discussing the feasibility of a free-trade agreement and set the goal of bilateral trade volume to US$1 trillion by 2020.

Highlights and recommendations from the Agenda can be found below.

Cooperation Areas
The Agenda has put forward cooperation guidelines for the following four areas:

  • Peace and Security
  • Prosperity
    • Trade and investment
    • Industry and information
    • Agriculture
    • Transport and infrastructure
  • Sustainable Development
    • Scientific and technological innovation
    • Space and aerospace
    • Energy
    • Urbanization
    • Climate change and environmental protection
    • Ocean
    • Regional policy
    • Social progress
    • Public policy
    • Global development
  • People-to-People Exchanges
    • Culture, education and youth
    • Facilitation of people-to-people exchanges

Cooperation Guidelines

Trade and investment

  • Negotiating and concluding a comprehensive China-EU Investment Agreement that covers issues of interest to both sides (including investment protection and market access), and provides for progressive liberalization of investment and the elimination of restrictions for investors in the other’s market;
  • Striving to create conditions for continued high and sound growth of China-EU trade;
  • Promoting practical win-win cooperation between China and the European Investment Bank;
  • Signing a new Strategic Framework for China-EU Customs Cooperation for 2014-2017, with special focus on the following areas:
    • Border enforcement of intellectual property rights;
    • Supply chain security;
    • Anti-commercial fraud;
    • Trade facilitation; and
    • External trade statistics.
  • Reinforcing the intellectual property dialogue mechanism so as to strengthen cooperation for combating counterfeiting and piracy as well as making full use of the new technical cooperation program in that regard;
  • Increasing the use of RMB in cross-border trade and investment;
  • Exploring innovative modes of financial cooperation to improve access to finance for enterprises, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, and making full use of the advantage of financial institutions in providing diverse financial services; and
  • Exchanging best practices in the area of e-commerce, in particular with regard to its regulatory aspects from different angles.

Industry and information

  • Enhancing the China-EU Industrial Dialogue and Consultation Mechanism, strengthening policy exchanges to facilitate industrial products trade, particularly in the following areas:
    • Automobile industry;
    • Industrial energy efficiency;
    • Raw materials;
    • Ship building; and
    • Small and medium-sized enterprises.

Transport and infrastructure

  • Strengthening cooperation in developing smart, upgraded and fully interconnected infrastructure systems.
  • Expanding cooperation in interoperability of seamless supply chain logistics networks between Asia and Europe, maritime markets and routes, rail services, logistics, safety, and energy efficiency.

Scientific and technological innovation

  • Further exploring joint research and innovation initiatives, particularly in the areas of food, agriculture and biotechnology, sustainable urbanization, aviation, water, health and information communication technology.

Climate change and environmental protection

  • Facilitating the construction of China’s emission trading market and use of market mechanisms in addressing climate change through a China-EU emission trading capacity construction project;
  • Enhancing practical cooperation in building China-EU low-carbon cities, communities and industrial parks and controlling greenhouse gas emissions; and
  • Developing low carbon technologies to promote extensive use of renewable energy to reduce consumption of fossil sources of energy and corresponding emissions.

This article was first published on http://www.china-briefing.com.


Dezan Shira & Associates is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in emerging Asia. Since its establishment in 1992, the firm has grown into one of Asia’s most versatile full-service consultancies with operational offices across China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore and Vietnam as well as liaison offices in Italy and the United States.


For further details or to contact the firm, please email info@dezshira.com or visit www.dezshira.comFor professional assistance in South China, contact Mr. Fabian Knopf at fabian.knopf@dezshira.com


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China Briefing hosts a wealth of business intelligence on legal, tax, and operational issues in China from a practical perspective. Knowledge, expertise and commentary for China Briefing is regularly contributed by Dezan Shira & Associates´ professional legal and tax staff. Currently located in Futian district, Dezan Shira & Associates has been assisting foreign companies in Shenzhen for 22 years.

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