PUBLIC PROCUREMENT

China's GPA accession progress to date


In 2007, negotiations started for China to accede the plurilateral and legally binding Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO). By late 2014, China had submitted a fifth revised offer to accede to the GPA, the content of which is still under review by GPA Parties and China. Two broad strands of the debate can be identified: (a) the scope of the market access offer in terms of sectors and entities included, with particular emphasis on sub-central level and on state owned enterprises; and (b) the requirements of a regulatory framework necessary to match the level of coverage of existing GPA members, especially on procedural transparency. In October 2014, the EUCTP II launched a comparative study to analyse the impacts of China’s GPA accession, examining relevant case studies (e.g. high-speed railway and nuclear power industry), outlining benefits from China’s domestic perspective and exploring the role of relevant reform policies. The early findings were presented and discussed during a seminar, attended by approximately 60 participants from different Chinese authorities’ procurement departments, representatives from State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), the EUCCC and the media.


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COMPETITION POLICY top

Deepening exchanges on the China’s AML and enforcement procedures and practices while continuing to improve transparency and good governance by referencing European good practices

EU technical assistance (TA) on competition policy in China is closely aligned with the domestic reform agenda and organised under the EU-China Dialogue on Competition Policy between DG COMP and the Chinese Anti-Monopoly Enforcement Agencies. In March 2015, the National People’s Congress in its Third Session emphasized the importance of “comprehensively advancing the rule of law” in China. Against this background, further developing and enforcing China’s Anti-Monopoly Law and Anti-unfair Competition Law are significant prerequisites in building a fair and competitive market in China.

Panellists during the workshop on IPR in Competition Cases on 19 March 2015, Beijing, China

Nearly 200 officials from both central and provincial level enforcement agencies participated in the tenth EU-China Competition Week. During a roundtable in Beijing, enforcement officials from China’s Ministry of Commerce met with their counterparts from DG Competition and selected Member State officials to discuss the concept of control in merger transactions and the issue of minority shareholdings. In the following days, training sessions for the State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) were organised on evidentiary issues in exclusionary abuse of dominance cases, including the role of the courts in setting respective standards, the balance between competition and the protection of IPR, including case studies form the pharmaceutical sector, and methods for setting fines in cartel cases.

REGULATORY REFORM top

Towards the fourth industrial revolution

The internet of things (IoT) describes the rapid advancement of connecting machines and whole supply chains, to i.e. make autonomous decisions e.g. on maintenance or process and production management, supported by technological innovations including augmented reality, big data, and cloud computing. As production processes thus become more transparent and manageable, gains in flexibility and efficiency are to be expected, with immense impacts on future economies of scale. Recent developments to digitalise industrial and automated processes hold the potential to create efficiency and productivity gains to an extent that this step of industrial upgrading is referred to as the “fourth industrial revolution”. In addition to industrial application, IoT also holds great potential for efficiency gains in other areas such as transportation systems or e-health. To promote EU-China cooperation in this field, a conference was organised back to back with the IoT SIdO, a professional IoT event including exposition and conference modules, discussing various fields in which IoT applications hold marketization potentials, e.g. connected vehicles/ITS, e-health, energy and smart cities.

 
FINANCIAL STABILITY AND POLICY top

Reinforcing China’s financial supervision and regulation system in times of global financial uncertainty

EUCTP II continues to provide support to China’s central bank officials in three important reform areas:

Financial regulation coordination and cooperation mechanism: Following the 2008 global financial crisis, extensive corrective and risk assessment measures have been taken in financial regulation systems around the world. China recently launched its own inter-ministerial structure for financial supervision and coordination in order to mitigate financial risks and improve financial regulation. At the request of the PBOC’s General Executive Office, EUCTP II organised a study assignment to Europe on the coordination and cooperation mechanism in financial regulation of EU member states.


Exchanges between the ECB and the PBOC delegation on 11-22 May 2015, Frankfurt, Germany

David ARCHER, Secretary to the Central Bank Governance Group and Head of Central Banking Studies, Bank for International Settlements on 24 June 2015, Beijing, China
The legal system of central banks: China’s central bank plays a quintessential role in maintaining financial stability. It does so by drafting and enforcing relevant laws, regulations and rules, a responsibility which falls under the mandate of PBOC’s Legal Affairs Department. In order to reinforce the capacity of China’s central bank legal department, EUCTP II organised a seminar aimed at providing Chinese officials an in-depth understanding of the functions of the European Central Bank and member state central banks’ legal departments.

Anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF)
:
as China is scheduled to undergo the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’s fourth round of mutual evaluation in 2017, it needs to build an AML system that is proportionate to its money-laundering/terrorism finance risk level, and improve the effectiveness of its AML/CFT regime in line with FATF’s risk-based approach requirements. In this context, EUCTP II organised a study assignment for officials of the Anti-Money Laundering Bureau of China’s central banks.

Chinese Officials at Bank of Spain on 28 May 2015, Madrid, Spain
TRADE FACILITATION AND CUSTOMS MODERNISATION top

New procedures and infrastructure to support trade in the 21st century

The Chinese government plans to boost domestic consumption and double household income by 2020. These changing economic and social conditions will bring with them a raft of opportunities for both Chinese and EU businesses in the cross-border e-commerce sector. China’s e-commerce market is set to become the world’s biggest, but there remain many barriers to growth which, if removed, could unleash a new wave of consumer spending and innovation. These barriers include complex and costly customs procedures, restrictive market access policies and a lack of information for consumers.


Experts discuss cross border e-commerce reforms at the seminar on 7-8 May 2015, Shanghai, China

On 7-8 May 2015 in Shanghai, EUCTP II organised a Seminar on Cross-Border E-Commerce attended by more than 150 guests from GACC, MOFCOM, SAFE,AQSIQ, the Shanghai and Hangzhou local governments and a large contingent of EU and Chinese businesses (e-retail, B2C logistics, payments). Highlights included:

- a detailed briefing from the Hangzhou Government on the State Council-approved national cross-border e-commerce pilot zone, which will include a single window for customs clearance of B2C goods by the end of 2015; and

- a robust discussion during which business representatives made reform recommendations to government including the need for streamlined customs regulations and less restrictive market regulation. With the help of the China Customs Brokers’ Association, these recommendations will be compiled in a report and submitted to GACC and MOFCOM.

E-commerce is booming worldwide, particularly in China. The explosion in online retail in China requires efficient logistics and courier delivery services which can satisfy growing consumer demands for low cost, express delivery. In addition, customs procedures at the border should be risk-based to balance border security with the facilitation of legitimate trade. This could benefit not only traders and consumers, but also customs administrations who are increasingly asked to do more with less. Against this background, EUCTP II supported the Study assignment on express shipments from 1-5 June 2015. Six senior GACC officials visited the DHL and TNT express hub airports in Leipzig in Germany and Liege in Belgium to study the latest developments in customs-business cooperation, risk management and advanced pre-shipment information exchange. The field visits were supplemented by a workshop in Brussels attended by EC officials and representatives of the express courier industry to exchange expertise on the challenges posed by B2C shipments and the opportunities for policy responses that deliver trade facilitation and security.

Customs administrations need to adapt to changing economic, legal and policy conditions with agile reform programs and high quality customs workforce development. Key international developments of interest to the Shanghai Customs College (SCC) and GACC include the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation and the emergence of new free trade agreements dealing with customs procedures.



Participants at the EU-China Seminar on EU and International Customs Law on 25-27 March 2015, Shanghai, China
In the context of the EU-China trade relationship, impending changes to the Union Customs Code (UCC) will also be important as a reference for GACC’s ongoing customs modernisation reforms. EUCTP II supported a Seminar on EU and International Customs Law in Shanghai on 25-27 March 2015 for 40 teachers and high achieving students from SCC, and several senior policy-makers in GACC to study the UCC amendments in detail, and discuss the implications for customs of emerging WTO and regional trade agreements. The seminar formed the basis for further discussions between SCC and the University of Munster on potential cooperation in the form of teacher and student exchanges.
ANIMAL HEALTH top

Supporting EU-China exchanges to harmonise food safety standards

In recent years, the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) has created a strategic plan designed to increase the capacity of China’s competent authorities in implementing adequate systems for zoonotic disease surveillance and control. The plan also supports the May 2012 dialogue between the MOA and the Directorate General for Health and Consumers of the EC (DG SANCO), where both sides agreed to continue cooperation on laboratory quality assurance and disease surveillance. To follow-up these series of animal health knowledge exchanges, EUCTP II implemented two workshops on Increasing the risk analysis capacity of the animal disease surveillance systems and the Impact of Animal and Human Health Control Systems on Animal Origin Food Safety.
Interactive participation at the seminar on Impact of Animal and Human Health Control on 20 April 2015, Beijing, China



Dr. Ma Hongshao, Director General of CAHEC and Dr. Thomas Mettenleiter, President of FLI during meetings on 21 May 2015 at the FLI Headquarters in Insel, Reims, Germany

Additionally, experts from the MOA participated in the study assignment on EU standards and regulations to control animal diseases, from 31st of May to 5th of June 2015 in Germany, to enhance their capacity on risk assessment and surveillance of Schmallenberg disease which continues to constrain the EU-China trade of bovine genetic material. Under the auspices of the MOUs signed between the MOA and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the German Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI), experts from the MOA participated in a series of workshops in Germany during the study assignment on Control measures for animal origin products during disease outbreaks from 18th to 22nd of May 2015.
 
FOOD SAFETY RISK ANALYSIS top

Enhancing the capacity on risk assessment to develop and review food standards:

The Chinese Food Safety Law has been recently reviewed and in chapter 2 “Food Safety Risk Surveillance and Assessment”, it establishes the incorporation of risk analysis in the revision and development of food-related regulations. The newly revised law will come into effect in October 2015. According to the Food Safety Law, Article 21, the development of food standards must be science-based and, as a result, the assessment of the risks associated with food consumption becomes mandatory. In this context, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) agreed with the European Commission (DG TRADE and DG SANTE) to implement initiatives to exchange knowledge and acquire first-hand experience in the area of risk assessment.

In the EU, risk assessment is essential to deliver and maintain high standards of food safety. Under the auspices of the MOUs signed between the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA) of the NHFPC, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (ANSES), EUCTP II organised a study assignment on Technical consultation on food safety risk assessment. During this activity, a series of workshops with the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL), the BfR and the ANSES allowed CFSA experts to gain knowledge and first-hand experience about the standard procedures and regulations related to the management of risk assessment in Germany and France.

China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA) experts visiting the French Agency for food, environmental and occupational health safety (ANSES) laboratory for food borne diseases on 19 June 2015, Paris, France
INDUSTRY SECTORS top

Support to Bilateral Regulatory Dialogues: Project support under the relevant EU-China regulatory dialogue working groups has focused on the automotive, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, medical devices sectors and conformity assessment.

Industry Sectors – Automotive
China’s automotive market has grown spectacularly over the last decades to become the world’s largest by 2009 and it continues to grow. However, China’s increasing dependency on imported oil as well as the severity of air pollution has forced China to adopt fuel consumption limits for cars. The EU has set parallel targets on the emission of CO2 that over time are assumed to converge with the Chinese targets. In April 2015, EUCTP II organised a Seminar on Off-cycle energy saving technologies in Beijing, to highlight technologies that are not yet part of vehicle homologation requirements. More than 50 representatives of local industries and institutions participated in the seminar.


Mr Ernst-Peter Weidmann of Daimler speaking on energy efficiency of air conditioning for cars on 22 April 2015, Beijing, China

Industry Sectors - Cosmetics

Following a recent review and update of both EU and China legislation on cosmetics, EUCTP II organised an Expert Exchange Roundtable in Beijing in March 2015. This roudtable discussed the practical impact and consequences of the requirements laid down in China Hygiene Standards and in the Annexes to the EU Cosmetics Regulation. Among the topics presented and discussed were the latest changes to the EU Cosmetics Regulation, cosmetic product claims, alternatives for animal testing, so-called borderline products, the tracing of banned substances and related plant ingredients management as well as aspects of market control. The Roundtable attracted more than 70 representatives from industry and other organisations.

European and Chinese Experts on Expert Roundtable on Cosmestics on 19 March 2015, Beijing, China

Industry Sectors - Pharmaceuticals

In the context of the EU-China 2020 Cooperation Agenda designed to detail policy initiatives and update both sides on the situation of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in China and the EU, EUCTP II organised a Seminar on EU and China Regulatory Regimes and Policies in AMR in April 2015. The seminar offered the possibility to share data and information. AMR is a complex global health issue and to tackle it effectively requires a so-called one-health approach, from the farm to the hospital. EUCTP II supported a comparative study on the state of play of AMR as a basis for further discussions on how to fight AMR. The outcomes of the study were presented at the seminar. The seminar with over 100 participants has contributed considerably to the confidence in the ability and possibility of combatting AMR.



Mr Gabriel Wikström, Swedish Minister of Health on 20 April 2015, Beijing, China
 

 

 






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