The Threat of Chinese Market to the European Companies

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The Threat of Chinese Market to the European Companies

China is the single most important challenge for EU trade policy. EU-China trade has increased dramatically in the past few years, doubling between 2000 and 2005. Europe is China's largest export market; China is Europe's largest source of imports. This trade policy paper addresses the economic and competitive challenges that flow from this change and the responses the EU should adopt in the area of trade and investment. The EU's open market has been a large contributor to China’s export-led growth. The EU has also benefited from the growth of the Chinese market: EU exports to China have more than doubled in the past five years. Competitively priced Chinese products have helped keep inflation and interest rates in Europe lower. European companies have gained from their investments in China. But competition from China has raised serious challenges for Europe in some important manufacturing sectors. If we strike the right balance, there is ample scope for a continued mutually beneficial trade partnership between Europe and China. Political leaders on both sides should continue to argue for open economic engagement. Europe should continue to offer open and fair access to China's exports and to adjust to the competitive challenge, while pursuing policies to support those bearing the burden of economic adjustment at home. China itself should reciprocate by strengthening its commitment to economic openness and market reform. It should strengthen legal protection for foreign companies and the enforcement of this protection and reject anti-competitive trading practices and policies. In pursuing this relationship the European Commission will strongly defend openness in European trade with China. But it will also seek to ensure that China meets its WTO obligations and continues to liberalise access to its goods, services, investment and public procurement markets. It will seek the end of forced technology...
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