Outcome of 10th EU-China Economic and Trade Dialogue

On 25 September 2023, EC EVP Valdis Dombrovskis and Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng co-chaired the 10th EU-China High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue (#HED) which was held in Beijing.

The HED follows the recent entente between EC President Ursula von der Leyen and Chinese President Xi Jinping to restart high-level bilateral dialogue between EU and China.

In 2022, the bilateral trade volume reached EUR 857 billion, up 23% year-on-year. The balance of trade is in favour of China with Chinese exports worth EUR 626 billion entering the EU for that period.

China is the 2nd largest trading partner of the EU, behind the USA. China is the top source market with 21% of imports and is the 3rd destination market with 9% of exports. From the Chinese point of view, the EU is also the 2nd largest trading partner, behind ASEAN.

EVP Dombrovskis hoped for wider market access into the Chinese markets for agrifoods, medical devices, cosmetics and infant milk powder. Vice Premier He expressed the wish that the EU will relax the restrictions on the export of high-tech products to China. For instance, ASML has been banned to sell cutting-edge chip making equipment to China.

The EU also expressed concern about subsidies on #EV which might be distorting the market and giving Chinese auto makers an unfair advantage. However, the Chinese side responded that making EV more affordable will accelerate the transition to #NetZero.

Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation in the financial sector by allowing financial firms of one to invest in the market of the other.

EU and China agreed to exchange information on export control in order to better understand and clarify each other’s measures. Some progress has been noted in the recognition and protection of Geographical Indicators (#GI) and Intellectual Property Rights (#IPR).

In view of the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) scheduled for February 2024, both sides exchanged views on the preparations and expectations ahead of the meeting.