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Time to rise above the noise and reap the full potential of EU-China economic relations|排除噪音,发挥潜能(史伟)
作者:管理员    发布于:2017-09-30 13:59:02   

    这对于中国来讲关系尤为重大,因为欧洲的投资者为中国带来就业、税收、创新和高科技。

    凭借着宽广的市场准入和平等对待欧盟和外资企业的投资制度,欧盟欢迎外国投资者。尽管中国投资者已经可以收购欧盟汽车企业、银行或其它关键行业企业的百分之百的股份,由于中国实施了市场准入限制和强制的合资规定,欧盟企业在中国却不可能实现同样的投资。很明显,我们在这个问题上缺乏互惠原则,这种状况不能无限地持续下去。

    在最近的调查中,56%的欧盟企业表示,如果被给予更加宽广的市场准入,他们将有意向中国注入更多的投资。欧盟企业感到在中国越来越不受欢迎,并不断表示营商环境正在恶化。

    鉴于上述情况,在欧洲委员会主席容克最近宣布建立新的欧盟范围内的投资审查制度之后,欧盟受到关于保护主义趋势的谴责是没有道理的。包括美国和中国在内,每一个主要经济体都已经建立了这样的制度。事实上,欧盟12个成员国也已经拥有了自己的投资审查制度。

    容克主席的提议仅仅是为了寻求在欧盟各国之间协调这些投资审查制度,并带来更大的透明度和可预见性,目的在于保护欧盟的安全与公共秩序,这与国际通行的做法一致。然而,容克主席的讲话不仅是关于审查制度,也谈到了欧盟和其它国家的结构改革,以及旨在实现开放公平的、基于规则的全球化的宏伟议程。欧盟实施了诸多雄心勃勃的双边贸易协定,而且在世贸组织中的优良声誉被广泛认可。欧盟寻求伙伴,并希望中国是一个有着真正的开放精神并在实践中真正落实开放的伙伴。

    自2013 年中国共产党第十八届中央委员会第三次全体会议召开以来,中国做出了许多关于放宽市场准入和深化市场改革的承诺。今年一月,习近平主席亲自在达沃斯论坛发表了激动人心的讲话,推崇开放市场和全球化。中国国务院第5号文件和最近的第39号文件发布了充满希望的通告。尽管已经是老生常谈,进展却非常缓慢,以至于欧盟企业现在正在经受他们所谓的“承诺疲劳”。

    我们希望,即将召开的中国共产党第十九届中央委员会大会将加速市场改革的落实,使中国的政策与中国关于实现开放公正且基于规则的全球化的愿景相一致。中国履行承诺的一条明确途径就是取得《中欧全面投资协定》谈判的具体进展。一个雄心勃勃的协定不仅将为双方提供必要的投资保护,也将拓宽市场准入,从而使我们能够利用双边经济关系的真正潜能。

There has been quite some noise recently about EU-China trade relations, from frustration at the slow pace of market reforms, accusations of protectionism, calls for reciprocity, debate on industrial overcapacity, investment screening systems, or cross-border acquisitions.

This debate should come as no surprise considering the depth and breadth of one of the world's largest economic relationships. And it should also come as no surprise that some of the opinions expressed are inaccurate or misleading given the complexity of this relationship. That is why it is important to rise above this noise and set out clearly how we see this relationship, and what exactly is at stake.

As major trading partners, engaging in almost 1.5 billion euro worth of trade every day, it is vitally important that we tend to this relationship that creates growth and jobs for both our economies.

A key engine of jobs and growth, and one with vastly more potential than trade, is that of investment. EU investment into China is only a fraction of EU investment into the US. More worryingly, official figures from both the EU and China show that EU investment into China is decreasing. This should be of major concern to China since European investors bring employment, tax-revenue, innovation and high-tech.

The EU welcomes foreign investors with wide market access and an investment regime that treats EU and foreign companies equally. Chinese investors have been able to buy 100% stakes in EU car companies, banks or other key industries, while this would be impossible for European companies to do in China due to market access restrictions and forced joint-venture requirements. There is clearly a lack of reciprocity here, which cannot go on indefinitely.

In a recent survey, 56% of EU companies said they would be interested to invest more in China if wider market access were granted. EU businesses feel less and less welcome in China and continually indicate that the business environment is worsening.

Given all of the above, it then seems somewhat unreasonable that the EU is accused of protectionist tendencies when, for example, President Juncker announced recently a new EU-wide investment screening system. Every major economy has such a system in place already, including the US and China. In fact 12 EU member states already have their own investment screening systems.

President Juncker's proposal would merely seek to harmonise these across the EU and bring greater transparency and predictability. The aim is to protect EU security and public order, which is in line with international practice. But President Juncker's speech was about much more than this; it was also about structural reform at home and abroad, and an ambitious agenda for open, rules-based and fair globalisation. The EU delivers in its many ambitious bilateral trade agreements; its WTO credentials are widely recognized. The EU seeks partners, and the EU wishes for China to be such a partner in the spirit and practice of true openness.

Since the third party plenum all the way back in 2013, much has been promised in terms of wider market access and deeper market reforms. In January, President Xi Jinping himself made a stirring speech in Davos in favour of open markets and globalisation. Promising announcements have been made in State Council documents no. 5 and most recently no. 39. Despite all this talk for many years, progress has been so slow that EU companies are now suffering from what they call "promise fatigue".

We hope that China's forthcoming 19th Party Congress will speed up implementation of market-oriented reforms, bringing China's policies into line with its vision of an open, rules-based and fair global economy. One clear way for China to demonstrate its commitment would be to make concrete progress in negotiations on the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment. An ambitious agreement would provide not only the necessary investor protection on both sides but also wide market access, thus harnessing the true potential of our economic relationship.

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