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Eu China Investment Protection Agreement

China is a major beneficiary of foreign investment, including from the European Union (EU). However, from the EU`s point of view, foreign investors are not treated in the same way in the Chinese market and by regulators compared to domestic firms. EU investors believe that their companies often face non-transparent, inconsistent and unpredictable rules that do not facilitate transactions in China. Faced with this perception, the EU has repeatedly asked China to open its market; In other words, to relax non-tariff barriers and to ensure that European companies would be subject to the same level of transparency and fair competition as Chinese companies in the EU market. The IAC would replace the 26 bilateral investment promotion and protection agreements between China and EU member states (Ireland does not have an ILO with China); Belgium and Luxembourg have a common agreement). This commentary deals with how the EU and China reached an agreement 20 years ago, in view of China`s accession to the WTO. The EU-China Comprehensive Investment Agreement (CAI) aims to create new investment opportunities for European companies by opening up the China market and eliminating discriminatory laws and practices that prevent it from competing on an equal footing with Chinese and other third-country companies in the Chinese market. Despite the complexity of the Chinese market, the vagueness of its legal framework and the differences between foreign and domestic firms, the World Investment Report 2019, published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), found that China remains the world`s second largest recipient of foreign direct investment after the United States, followed by Hong Kong. In 2016, the two sides agreed on the scope of the future agreement.

They agreed that it would go beyond a traditional investment protection agreement covering market access for investments and a number of important disciplines. It would also include provisions on sustainable development and dispute resolution. Finally, the EU-China agreement on China`s accession to the WTO (19 May 2000) concluded that, although China would maintain the 50-50 ceiling, China would offer a legal guarantee to avoid prudential interference in private contracts between life insurance joint venture partners. China immediately granted seven new licences for European life and life insurers. In addition, insurance activities were opened to foreign companies two years earlier than in China`s China-U.S. WTO accession agreement, and foreign brokers were allowed to operate in China five years after accession, without any joint venture requirement.