9 April 2019
Mr Prime Minister,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In today's world, our partnership is more important than ever before. We share the same challenges and the same belief that working together makes the world a stronger, safer and more prosperous place.
This was the message of the Meeting on Global Governance in Paris which I attended alongside President Xi some two weeks ago.
Our partnership with China for us is a priority – and it needs a comprehensive approach to match. This is why we recently published our strategic outlook on China with 10 actions for the future.
As partners, we can also be honest with each other when we need to be or when progress is slower than we would like. This honesty and a strong determination to face our challenges together have allowed us to make real progress. This is reflected in today's Joint Statement, which is the fruit of over 50 hours of careful negotiations over the last 10 days.
Today we are making good on our joint commitment to uphold and update the rules-based global order that has served us so well. Rules-based global order, you can express it in a different way.
We have agreed to deepen our dialogue on the reform of the World Trade Organisation to make it fit for the modern economy.
In particular, we will now step up our bilateral talks on the rules for industrial subsidies. This is an area that we believe can make a real difference to create a level playing field globally.
I also welcome the explicit agreement that there should be no forced transfer of technologies as a price for investment.
As we work in the global level, we also want to move more together bilaterally.
Our cooperation simply makes sense for both sides. The European Union is China's largest trading partner and China is the EU's second largest. We trade well over EUR 1.5 billion worth of goods every single day. European investment in China went up for the first time in four years in 2018. This is good news.
But we can do a lot better. We need to find a better balance and level of reciprocity. Europe wants to trade more and invest more in China but we need rules that allow us to do so.
With this in mind, we agreed to set up a process to allow us to identify and remove barriers to market access – with the clear target to take stock of progress at the next EU-China Summit.
We also committed to stepping up negotiations on an ambitious Comprehensive Investment Agreement, with the aim of reaching agreement in 2020 to help boost investment and create a more level-playing field.
Today's Summit is a big step in the right direction. But commitments are only worth anything if we deliver on them. And that is what we must do in the weeks and months ahead.
In this spirit, we also took stock of ongoing bilateral negotiations. There is still more work to do on geographical indications and we agreed to work quickly on this to resolve it by the end of this year.
Similarly, we finished negotiations on two aviation agreements back in December 2017 and it is now high time to sign them.
To finish, let me say that Europe's position is clear. We believe in China and we believe in our partnership. And we are ready to work together and at the same time be more ambitious in standing up for our interests and values.