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China | Brussels, 6 February 2017

Malmström discusses EU-China business ties

Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade, today sets out the opportunities from strengthening trade and investment relations with China, a market that accounts for one fifth of EU goods imports and one tenth of its exports.

Speaking at an event "China’s reform agenda: what’s next for European companies?", organised by BusinessEurope, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China and the EU-China Business Association, the Commissioner quoted with approval recent statements by President Xi of China — to develop free trade and investment, promote liberalisation and facilitation, and say "no" to protectionism. However, she noted, the challenge for the year ahead will be to ensure that "the country walks the talk", with "rhetoric … matched by reform".

The Commissioner noted the opportunities for both sides of the bilateral investment agreement currently under negotiation; but also set out the importance of rule of law. Noting the "deteriorating situation" on human rights, the freedom of expression and association, she stressed that trade needs to be "based on values".

Read the Commissioner's comments on EU-China trade and investment relations

More on EU-China trade and investment relations