The EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) is designed to become the single mechanism regulating China’s investment cooperation with the EU, replacing all existing bilateral agreements on China’s investment with the bloc. The document, which has been discussed since 2014, should facilitate access to the Chinese market for EU investors and, to European markets for Chinese companies. It is intended to eliminate discriminatory practices against foreign investors, create mechanisms to protect investments and ensure equal rules for foreign and local companies, as well as to stimulate sustainable development, including promoting investors’ compliance with basic environmental and labour standards. The deal is of strategic importance to the EU, not only in an economic but also in a political context. Brussels is not very pleased that China is actively developing bilateral relations with European countries, often bypassing EU supranational mechanisms. Beijing has also initiated a cooperation format with Central and Eastern European countries within the framework of the 17+1 summit, proposing to CEE countries to establish a joint secretariat, which already looks like the establishment of a full-fledged international organisation. So far, China has limited itself to establishing a 17+1 infrastructure investment fund. Developed countries in Western Europe fear that China’s economic and political… Read full this story
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