EU-China Trade Project II (EUCTP II) contributes to real impacts in EU-China trade cooperation

The months October to February were a busy period with 38 activities contributing to real trade and cooperation impacts under key EU-China trade dialogues - from financial services and competition policy to low carbon and food and product safety. EU Ambassador  to China, Markus Ederer, met with Li Fei, Vice Chairman of NPC, to kick off the Project’s long-term support to the National People’s Congress (NPC) legislative drafting process up to 2015.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS LAW

Creating the foundations for New Legislation: China has the most mobile phone users in the world and its microblog users are estimated at 250 million and growing. To contribute to the development of a law that will govern the telecommunications industry in China, EUCTP II-engaged experts held a workshop with NPC legislative staff on how EU legal and regulatory practices in the telecommunications and Internet industries work.

REGULATORY REFORM

EU-China cooperation to deliver Regulatory Reform in Trade and Investment:


SCLAO study visit on Public Consultation
EUCTP II’s support to legislative bodies including NPC, the State Council Legislative Affairs Office (SCLAO) and the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM)’s WTO Affairs Department, put a spotlight on EU experiences and best practices in developing and assessing legislation related to trade and investment impacts.

Among other activities a study visit on Public Consultation was carried out to give China’s executive organ SCLAO greater exposure to the process of consultation on legislation in the EU. As a direct result of the visit, the delegates’ report made four concrete recommendations on improvements for the Chinese legislative process: a) to introduce a risk assessment procedure, b) to better undertake social risk assessment, c) to improve administrative pre-licensing and d) to improve public participation in the legislative process across the board. In response to these recommendations, a study visit focusing on the disputes resolution system and administrative mediation in the Implementation of Laws and Regulations related to Trade and Investment is under development.

FINANCIAL STABILITY AND SERVICES

EU and China work on Financial Stability as Sovereign Debt Crisis deepens: Amid the European Central Bank’s lending to stave off the debt crisis, EUCTP II organised a study visit for People’s Bank of China (PBOC), which introduced how central banks managed risks and lending, and how China could improve its framework for central bank risk management and accounting as China’s role in the global economy expands. To aid in China’s efforts to introduce risk-based elements to its solvency framework, EUCTP II supported a study visit to Europe for the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), led by Vice Chairman Chen Wenhui, on how Europe implements Solvency II.

Liu Xinhua opens the session at the workshop entitled, Accounting and Auditing: EU-China Cooperation in a Globalised World, referencing EU implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards

The G-20 agenda also featured strongly in financial services dialogues, where a study visit to Europe for delegates from the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) built on earlier EUCTP II activities, familiarising delegates with approaches to implementing the G-20 concept of “living wills.” In addition, the G-20 request for “a single set of high quality, global accounting standards” set the basis for the most recent workshop on EU implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards, which was organised with the participation of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), with an opening by DG MARKT Deputy Director General Nadia Calviño and CSRC Vice Chairman Liu Xinhua.

COMPETITION POLICY


2nd EU-China Competition Week 2011
Competition Policy Dialogues feed into China’s Anti-Monopoly Efforts:China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) came into force in 2008, giving responsibility to three Anti-Monopoly Enforcement Agencies (AMEAs) to prosecute Cartels (NDRC), the Abuse of Dominance (SAIC) and to undertake Merger Review (MOFCOM). The relationship and interaction between competition policy and industrial policy, particularly relevant in light of governments’ efforts to respond to the financial crisis, was the subject of a joint MOFCOM Anti-Monopoly Bureau and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) study visit to Europe, where it was asserted in the concluding report of the study delegation that observations made on the visit would “feed into MOFCOM and MIIT policies and procedures as they are developed.” This study visit was further reinforced through expert input to a roundtable discussion on Simplified Merger Procedures in Xiamen.

In November, officials from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) participated in a joint study visit  to the EU on Cartel Case Investigations, which resulted in delegates drafting a report for both institutions highlighting the lessons to be learned from European best practices. The second EU-China Competition week was held by EUCTP II in November, where three bespoke training sessions were designed and delivered in collaboration with the AMEAs, and 100 DVDs of the training sessions were distributed to Department of Commerce (DOFCOM) officials all over China.  

SECTORAL EXCHANGES

Reinforced support to Bilateral Regulatory Dialogues: Project support under the


EU-China roundtable on the Tyre Industry

relevant EU-China regulatory dialogue working groups has focused on the automobile, cosmetics, pharmaceutical and medical device sectors. Three expert roundtables for the automotive sector, respectively on New-Energy Vehicle Energy Consumption Assessment, Heavy-duty Commercial Vehicle Fuel Consumption and Safety Standards of Electric Vehicles and Batteries took place as the priority activities identified by the bilateral automotive regulatory dialogue, which in return fed into further bilateral regulatory discussions.

In pharmaceuticals, a seminar on Registration of Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products explained to more than a hundred Chinese manufacturers the relevant EU Directives for exporting Traditional Chinese Medicines to the EU, while technical exchanges resulted in a Cosmetic Expert Exchange workshop and Medical Devices Expert roundtable that also supported bilateral regulatory dialogues.

AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SAFETY


First study MOA and AQSIQ study visit to EFSA
Strengthening Risk Analysis in China’s Food Safety Approach: In a significant step towards building on the capacity of risk assessment in China, EUCTP II supported the first Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine (AQSIQ) study visit to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Responding to on-going food safety crises, Chinese authorities are increasingly looking to EU regulatory models for reference on revising food safety regulations. This study visit enhanced beneficiary capacity to enforce implementation of the Food Safety Law and the Law on Agricultural Product Quality of the People’s Republic of China, and set the foundation for future cooperation between EFSA and China’s main departments in charge of agricultural product risk assessment. In addition, the Technical Training to Improve the Capacity of BSE Risk Analysis strengthened EU-China commitment to improving the safety of bovine products, by introducing experts from AQSIQ and MOA to the EU risk analysis systems specifically implemented for the eradication of BSE.

Convergence also emerged as a key dialogue in the area of food additives, supporting the National Food Safety Standards for Food Additives, a standards modification issued by MOH in 2011. Responding to the standards modification, the Project’s workshop on Food Safety Standards advanced technical discussions towards support of the convergence of food additive standards.

STATISTICS


Seminar on Methodology and Seasonal Adjustments in Trade Statistics
Moving towards the harmonisation of Measurement Statistics: Cooperation has been a key emphasis in customs and trade statistics, where EUCTP II delivered several strategic activities under the GACC-Eurostat Cooperation MoU. A study visit on International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS) provided the ideal conditions for establishing the first working group meeting on EU-China Foreign Trade Data Exchange and resulted in a finalised action plan for external trade data exchange. In addition, a seminar on Methodology and Seasonal Adjustments in External Trade Statistics addressed measurement statistics by means of sharing enhanced methodological practices, while bringing both parties closer to realising harmonisation of external trade statistics measurements.

The Project has also heightened its focus on cooperation through statistics in trade in services, where EUCTP II organised for a group of statisticians from MOFCOM to visit Eurostat and other national statistical agencies in Europe to understand how these agencies compile various statistics in trade in services, while enhancing EU-China cooperation in this field.

DRUG PRECURSOR PREVENTION

Cross-Border cooperation in Drug Precursor Prevention: The EU and China have made significant coordinating efforts to monitor drug precursors, including a 2009 agreement to increase cooperation in preventing the diversion of these substances. Contributing to the agreement’s aims, the EUCTP II Best Practices workshop on Drug Precursors and the TARCET III Debriefing conference advanced EU-China development of a common strategy for drug precursor control.

LOW CARBON ECONOMY

Enhanced Dissemination Approaches offer window on EU Best Practices in Low Carbon Economy: As emphasised in the outcomes of the recent EU-China summit, cooperation in the fields of Energy and Climate Change and the goal of a low carbon economy are high on the agenda for EU-China cooperation. Strengthening technical assistance delivery in this active policy field, EUCTP II launched the EU-China Low Carbon Economy Platform mini-site to provide Chinese beneficiaries with training materials, news, and policies – presenting a window on European regulatory best practices in low carbon economy across seven main thematic areas: Renewable Energy, Clean Coal, Smart Grids, Energy Efficiency, Green Buildings, E-Mobility, and Carbon Markets.


EU-China Low Carbon Economy mini-site

In addition to this dissemination work, a workshop on Green Smart Cities and Internet of Things (IoT) Applicationattracted high-level participants from both regions and resulted in both EU and China experts confirming that IoT application plays an integral role in smart city development. Both parties showed particular interest in specific cooperation areas including intelligent transportation and intelligent water treatment systems for pilot cities in China, for which future work is planned.

CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY (CPS)


The Toys Training was broadcast live via webinar on the Guangdong Toys Association website
EU-China Supply Chain cooperation in Product Safety: Product safety within global supply chains requires compliance with international safety standards – legislation which heavily affects China as the world’s largest producer of consumer products. Identifying that the 2009 EU Toy Safety Directive (Directive 2009/48/EC) holds significant relevance for Guangdong Province, where 85% of toys in China are manufactured, EUCTP II supported a joint EU-China-US Toys Training in Dongguan City, Guangdong Province, to inform relevant Chinese audiences of this new Directive. In addition, broadening the impact of consumer product safety (CPS) trainings was brought into focus as the Consumer Product Safety roundtable gathered experts together from AQSIQ, DG SANCO, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), to assess how CPS information is distributed within China and how these channels can be improved.