EU-China Trade Project II supports improvement of consumer health protection in China

The increased efficiency of cross border trade flows brings valuable benefits to trading partners and consumers, but also means that diseases pose greater widespread risks, making coordinated, accurate surveillance critical. Recent food and animal disease crises affecting both China and Europe have heightened efforts for a concerted global cooperation in cross border disease control and surveillance, and with consumer health protection being a major priority for the Chinese government, it continues to be a significant focal point for activities and impacts achieved under EUCTP II.

Addressing these challenges, EUCTP II continues to support cooperation in global consumer health protection, most recently in the field of Anti-microbial Resistance (AMR). These efforts coincided with the bilateral programme launched in 2012 between the Directorate General for Health & Consumers of the EC (DG SANCO), the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and the Ministry of Health (MOH), which aims to increase awareness of AMR and promote the reasonable use of antimicrobials. Among the first activities to support this cooperation were two EUCTP II seminars relating to AMR and public health, and AMR in the veterinary and food sectors, respectively.

In addition, several activities - including a study assignment to enhance laboratory capacity in supporting animal disease surveillance and a training workshop on epidemiology - supported the harmonisation of international disease surveillance standards through the twining of reference laboratories and alignment within MOA’s strategies for improving surveillance systems for zoonotic diseases

With the process of globalisation, EU-China cooperation in this area has highlighted the understanding that protecting public health is no longer considered a domestic challenge facing individual countries, but an international responsibility.


 

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PUBLIC HEALTH top
Addressing the threats of antimicrobial resistance and advancing the surveillance systems for zoonotic diseases: The responsible use of antimicrobial agents can be an effective instrument in protecting human and animal health, however their overuse and misuse has resulted in the growing incidence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). AMR, which occurs when microorganisms become resistant to certain antimicrobial medicines like antibiotics, is a serious global human and veterinary public health concern. In the EU alone, AMR is responsible for 25,000 deaths a year with associated economic costs of 1.5 billion euros. Following the launch of the bilateral programme between DG SANCO, MOA and MOH, EUCTP II supported several activities addressing the risks posed by AMR. As the first concrete action following the launch of this cooperation,a Seminar on Antibiotic Resistance
and Public Health was held to introduce and understand the current status and related policy initiatives for AMR in China and the EU. In addition, an EU-China Seminar on Antimicrobial Resistance in the Veterinary and Food Sector brought together specialists from the World Health Organization (WHO), MOA, the China Institute of Veterinary Drug Control, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to discuss issues and initiatives relating to AMR monitoring and prevention. As a result of these exchanges, a proposal was developed to implement follow-up actions that further support EU-China bilateral activities on AMR.
The Seminar on Antibiotic Resistance and Public Health marked the first concrete action following the launch of the bilateral programme on AMR; 6 March, 2013

EUCTP II has also remained dedicated to facilitating work towards the twining of the ANSES Laboratory - a World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)/European Union Animal Health (EU) reference laboratory located in Maisons-Alfort, France - with the Chinese Animal Health and Epidemiology Center (CAHEC) - an MOA reference laboratory located in Qingdao, Shandong Province. Contributing to these aims, a study assignment on Enhancing Laboratory Capacity to Support Animal Diseases Surveillance built on several previously delivered activities (including a consultation in October 2012, a study assignment in July 2012 and a roundtable in April 2012), allowing two Chinese experts to work hands-on with their EU counterparts in charge of the OIE/EU reference laboratory for brucellosis in Maisons-Alfort. During the two week assignment, the Chinese experts deepened their knowledge and skills in steps for the process of meeting international standards, specifically in immunological procedures for the detection of animal brucellosis.

Supporting the harmonisation of standards between the EU and China in the area of surveillance and control of zoonotic diseases (diseases transmissible to humans), an


Small group sessions for the Epidemiology Training Workshop were mainstreamed within MOA’s strategic plans for zoonotic disease surveillance; 9-10 March, 2013
Epidemiology Training Workshop for Chinese Executives supported MOA’s strategic plan to increase its capacity in implementing adequate surveillance systems for zoonotic diseases. One of MOA’s initiatives for achieving a better surveillance system is the implementation of a Field Epidemiology Training Program for Veterinarians (China FETPV), which aims at becoming a self-sustaining in-service training of trainers (TOT) model. This training engaged high-ranking central and provincial government officials to enable them to develop and support current international donor-supported initiatives, such as the FETPV program, in order to improve animal health surveillance systems - an issue that is paramount for enforcing the Food Safety Law and providing adequate support for international standards compliance.

INDUSTRY SECTORS top
EU-China cooperation in automotive and cosmetics sectors: As the largest automotive market in the world, China is consistently seeking ways to  improve automotive energy efficiency while informing the further development of this burgeoning sector. E-vehicles specifically offer the benefit of a low carbon footprint and the latest in technological advances, but also require a unified approach for establishing and meeting global standards. EUCTP II has supported several activities on electric vehicles and automotives in January 2013 under the framework of the MoU on a Dialogue and Consultation Mechanism on Industrial Sectors between the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and the Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry of the
Experts gather to discuss Annex II of the EU Cosmetic Directive 76/768 at the most recent Cosmetics Expert Exchange;
5-6 March, 2013
EC (DG ENTR).  A series of half-day seminars on Electric Vehicle Energy Consumption Assessment, Heavy Duty Commercial Vehicle Fuel Consumption Standards, and Safety Standards of Electric Vehicles and Batteries, each contributed to enhancing policy exchanges on energy efficiency and the improvement of both traditional and new electric vehicles. In addition, this support aided in new draft advisement, specifically in regards to China’s Guideline for the calculation of equivalent fuel consumption to the electric power consumption of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles. As a result, expert team feedback from the seminar will be considered within the future draft Guidelines.

EUCTP II support for the Working Group on cosmetics built on previous dialogues as part of the Consultation and Cooperation Mechanism established between the European Commission and the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) in 2007. As follow-up to previous Cosmetics Expert Exchanges held in November 2011, March 2012, and October 2012, the most recent DG SANCO-SFDA Cosmetics Expert Meeting was held in Beijing in March 2013, specifically focusing on the content of Annex II of the EU Cosmetic Directive 76/768, identifying an opportunity for closer EU-China collaboration to facilitate the implementation of the legal texts into hands-on, practical and pragmatic guidelines.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND OVERALL SERVICES top
Informing discussions on cross-border cooperation in the mutual recognition of E-signature certificates and supply of services: Recently China has enhanced its efforts to encourage smoother cross-border services and e-commerce trade, with current plans underway for a pilot project between Hong Kong and Guangdong province to test the mutual recognition of E-signature certificates between borders. To inform these developments and support MIIT in its efforts to promote this area, a Conference on the Mutual Recognition of E-Signature Certificates was held in Beijing. With the EU’s extensive experience in this field, the conference provided a valuable reference point on the legal effects of e-signatures, the current policy environment in the EU, and the technologies and patterns for mutual recognition of e-signature certificates. During the conference, the experts from both sides agreed on the value of the exchanges, with Wang Hong, Director of the Information Security Coordination Department of MIIT stating that, "Cross-border e-commerce is a driving force for international trade development [and] there is therefore an urgent need for cross-border recognition of e-signatures."


Participants discuss the legal effects of e-signatures and related EU policies;
27 February, 2013

To provide reference for policymaking on cross-border trade facilitation, an in-depth study was delivered by EUCTP II, regarding the development and regulation of the Cross-Border Supply of Services in the EU. Specifically intended to focus on content pertinent to officials from the Department of WTO Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), results and feedback from the study will be incorporated into the planning of future EU-China cooperation.
CUSTOMS top
Developing modern customs in response to globalised trade: As China continues to reform and modernise its customs policies and procedures, increased attention is being given to past developmental trends, international cooperation, and records of historical good practice in this area. Contributing to these discussions, EUCTP II supported a seminar on Lessons from Maritime Customs History for China’s Customs Reform and Modernization. During the Qing Dynasty (1854-1949), China’s maritime customs archives and systems were managed by European Inspector Generals working for the Chinese Imperial Maritime Customs Service, and these historical records provide important context for how the General Administration of Customs (GACC) could incorporate aspects of international good practice into its modern day customs reform.
 
Another customs topic being given international attention is the development of international input‐output matrices, with the WTO "Made in the World" initiative stressing the need for greater interconnectivity to protect against the possible risk of miscalculation and misinterpretation of international trade statistics. To increase discussions between EUROSTAT and GACC in addressing these shared concerns, a Workshop on the Application of Input-Output Techniques in International Trade Statistics was delivered, highlighting the major statistical and methodological challenges and defining the appropriate "good international practices" relevant for China’s development in this field.
Maritime customs archives are discussed as reference for international cooperation; 29-30 November 2012

Following completion of the EU-China IPR2 project in 2011, EUCTP II has supported several activities to provide technical assistance under the EU-China IPR Action Plan, such as a series of seminars in March 2012, and, most recently, the 6th Expert Group Meeting on the EU-China Action Plan for IPR Customs Enforcement. This meeting established both an exchange of information regarding previously identified key actions and also planned for the extension of the action plan. With industry participation and on-site field visits incorporated into the activity, the meeting offered a unique opportunity for participants to gain first-hand knowledge regarding respective IPR procedures while exploring future priorities for the EU-China IPR Action Plan dialogue.
LOW CARBON ECONOMY top
Implementing new collaborative approaches for low carbon cooperation: To benefit from the close involvement and deep interest of European industry and regulators within the low carbon file, EUCTP II has developed new collaborative strategies between these groups and China’s State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC). Two internship programmes developed for officials from SERC focused on the topic of Electricity Market and Price Regulation and supported the Joint Statement for Enhanced Cooperation on Electricity Markets between the European Commission and SERC. The internships consisted of intensive "on-the-ground" programmes of study and work and were designed around a series of technical questions developed prior to the internships to ensure topics covered were highly relevant to SERC’s needs. Following the internships, the interns drafted two in-depth reports reflecting the experiences and good practices they observed and provided recommendations on strategic planning for short, medium, and long-term power market development.

Customised strategies for implementing DSM pilot projects are presented at the Workshop on Energy Efficiency and DSM Model Development; 25 January, 2013
Collaborating with European industry and Chinese regulators at the provincial level, the EU-China Workshop on Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management (DSM) Model Development for Guangdong and Jiangsu Province engaged leading European industry representatives who could offer  relevant insight for Guangdong and Jiangsu authorities on designing and implementing Demand Side Management (DSM) and energy efficiency projects. Both provinces have been identified as DSM pilot provinces, and with projects soon to follow in both locations, the activity offered a timely platform for introducing strategies for developing a regulatory system to enhance energy efficiency. To ensure the recommended approaches were tailored
for each province, the three selected European companies developed an in-depth questionnaire and, based on the answers provided by expert engineers from Guangdong and Jiangsu, designed an outline of the necessary steps needed to deliver a pilot project on DSM and Energy Efficiency, integrating European experience with the specific needs and interests of each province. Based on the feasibility of the pilot projects and the identification of necessary resources, work will continue between SERC and the Directorate General for Energy of the EC (DG ENER) to support the implementation of these pilots.
VISIBILITY AND COMMUNICATIONS top
Project visibility efforts reaching out to new channels: Sustainability is a key priority for EUCTP II’s communication and visibility approaches, and the latest Competition Week 6 offered an ideal platform to pilot new outreach efforts with academia. Two supplementary evening lectures were scheduled for visiting European experts to present on EU Competition Policy at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). To support these discussions while increasing the visibility of relevant EUCTP II tools and resources, over 80 bilingual training DVDs from Competition Weeks 2 and 3 were distributed among the attendees, and a short introductory speech was given at both lectures, introducing students to the EU-China Competition Policy mini-site (www.euchinacomp.org). As a result of these efforts, during the week of the lectures, the mini-site received a 40% increase in visits and a 56% increase in new visitors as compared to the previous week. Due to the positive response, plans for similar approaches with academia across other relevant technical files are currently underway.