EU-China Trade Project II (EUCTP II) informs improvements to China's regulatory and legislative framework:

Current regulatory frameworks governing interactions between European and Chinese companies are often sub-optimal, leading to 'lose-lose' scenarios which result in reduced economic activity. Prime examples are industrial policies, market access restrictions or non-tariff barriers to trade which affect investment, potentially reduce opportunities for businesses from both sides and dampen EU-China trade. Both the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and the European Commission's Directorate-General for Trade (DG Trade) independently conducted research in order to obtain a more in-depth understanding of trade and investment linkages between the EU and China, and reviewed the impact of policies on the decisions of both Chinese and European companies regarding their engagement in Global Value Chains (GVCs).To discuss the findings this research, EUCTP II organised a conference on global value chains to ensure that policy recommendations and conclusions were made available to high-level EU and Chinese policy makers in preparation for the 16th EU-China Summit which took place on 21 November 2013. A total of 150 participants took part in the conference, which was opened by MOFCOM Assistant Minister Dr. ZHANG Xiangchen, and DG Trade Deputy Director General João AGUIAR MACHADO.

 

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OVERALL SERVICES SECTOR DEVELOPMENT top
Improving the EU-China trade and investment environment:

In 2010, the National People's Congress (NPC) announced the completion of its programme to establish China’s Socialist System of Laws with Chinese Characteristics. National laws, administrative regulations and local statutes were reviewed and revised to support economic growth and social development. As part of this reform programme, the State Council put forward guidelines for establishing a mechanism to improve the current legal system, its transparency and governance. To inform these efforts EUCTPII supported a Study Assignment on the Liberalisation and Supervision of Legal Services to Europe

Officials from the MoJ engage in discussions with European counterparts regarding strategies for liberalising legal services
21 October - 1 November, 2013
for officials from the Ministry of Justice, All China Lawyers Associations and various bar associations. At meetings with various legal professional regulators and bar associations, the delegates learned about Member State laws and policies for  industry self-discipline and self-regulation, providing a useful reference for reform efforts due to kick off in 2014 with the review of the Regulations on the Administration of Foreign Law Firms’ Representative Offices in China and its Detailed Rules for Implementation.

The services sector is one of China’s fastest growing economic sectors. However, legislative and regulatory restrictions on the sector can dampen growth potential. In order to map out and analyse the impact of various legislative and regulatory restrictions on trade in services, EUCTP II project organised a Seminar on Services Trade Restrictions in Beijing to inform Chinese policy makers on the latest techniques to measure these restrictions.

FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR DEVELOPMENT top
Advancing the development and reform of China’s corporate bond markets, the enforcement of securities law and the supervision of insurers’ investments:

China and the EU have worked closely to improve the development and reform of China’s financial markets – which have grown into some of the world’s largest in the last two decades. To support China’s effort in this area, EUCTP II organised three in-depth study assignments including:

Officials from the PBOC engage in discussions with European counterparts regarding corporate bond market developments
21 October - 1 November, 2013
  • a study assignment on Securities Law Enforcement for China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) officials designed to enhance the enforcement of securities laws, particularly in relation to insider trading and market manipulation which both undermine efficiency and confidence in the market and remain  key challenges for China’s developing capital market. Knowledge gained by the CSRC delegates will serve as a reference system when dealing with market abuse investigations procedures, especially in the settlements regime.

  • and finally, as China’s insurance sector continues to grow and faces the pressing challenge of how to effectively use insurance funds and supervise insurer’s investments, EUCTP II organised a Study Assignment on Supervising Investments by Insurers including use of Derivatives for Chinese delegates from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC). European experience in this field offered Chinese delegates key background information and strengthened the foundation for exchanges on good practices in this field, while facilitating the dialogue between relevant Chinese and European industry experts.

In addition to the activities mentioned above and building upon a previous Study Assignment on Currency Management and Combatting Counterfeit Currency organised for PBOC, EUCTPII organised a follow up study assignment during which officials met with central banks, and commercial banks in Spain, Austria and Holland. These informative sessions with their European counterparts enhanced China’s central bank officials’ capacity to combat counterfeiting which will improve the integrity of the Chinese currency system.

COMPETITION POLICY top

Exchange with EU and Chinese experts on State Aid and Service of General Interest in Competition Week 7; 21-24 October 2013
Deepening EU-China cooperation on competition policy by tackling China’s domestic reform issues:

China recently announced its intention to increase the role of the market in the economy and a critical component of these reforms will be effective regulatory settings to promote fair competition, including the Anti-Monopoly Law and the Anti-Trust Law. Improving enforcement powers and capacity, and minimising administrative intervention in the market will also be crucial. Additional to the training on the principles of investigative techniques for Chinese enforcement agencies, more strategic themes have been developed and progressed in the competition dialogue between EU and China.

In this context, the NDRC, which has the mandate to drive China’s domestic economic reform, for the first time requested discussion on state aid and regional policy. This represented a breakthrough as EU’s state aid framework is highly relevant to China’s current reform context, including State Owned Enterprise reforms and shadow banking. The EU’s state aid framework could be a beneficial model for China’s long term economic reform and growth. To access more information on EU-China cooperation in Competition Policy, please visit the EU-China Competition Policy site at www.euchinacomp.org.

PUBLIC PROCUREMENT top

Working towards China’s accession to the GPA:

The Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) is a plurilateral and legally binding agreement under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Throughout the first half of 2013, EUCTP II has supported a comparative study to analyse European and Chinese public procurement practices in the utilities sector.

During a follow-up seminar organized by EUCTP II (October 2013), Dr. WANG Ping (Nottingham University) presented the study’s findings and policy recommendations to officials from different Chinese authorities’ procuring departments. Representatives of the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) constructively discussed with The European Commission’s Internal Market and Services Directorate General (DG MARKT) the study’s findings and identified the significant buying power of Chinese State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) as strongly shaping the domestic procurement market. Exchanges between Chinese and European policy makers and experts on the findings of the comparative study on procurement in the utilities sector;
August 2013
QUALITY INFRASTRUCTURE top

Harmonising Chinese and European Good Manufacturing Practices: The production and trade of fake medicines is a growing worldwide problem. In response, the EU published Directive 2011/62/EU, which introduced harmonised European safety and control measures aimed at preventing fake medicines from reaching patients. These measures will ensure easier identification of fake medicines, and improved verifications and controls at EU borders and within the EU. The measures also require all enterprises to follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and for these to be certified in accordance with legal requirements and international guidelines. Given that Chinese manufacturers raised some issues about the trade implications of the Directive, it was necessary to promote awareness of the EU GMP practices and regulations, and address the major concerns of industry representatives. Accordingly, EUCTP II, in cooperation with the Chinese Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines and Health Products (CCCMHPIE), held conferences in Beijing and Zhejiang (September 2013). Furthermore, on 26 and 27 September industry representatives visited the largest Chinese enterprise for the provision of advice and capacity building on GMP.

Aside from GMP, eHealth has been another focus within the quality infrastructure file, as eHealth has been identified as a key mechanism for increasing access to healthcare, improving quality and improving the cost efficiency of healthcare systems.

Experts answers questions from companies at the Beijing Conference, 24-25 September, 2013
China has been collaborating with a range of international organisations on health care policy, eHealth education, clinical research, training and institutional partnership. These efforts have the potential to improve China’s health care services and education, and may help position China as a world leader in health care services. To support these initiatives EUCTP delivered a one day seminar on eHealth(December 2013) to facilitate the exchange of information on current eHealth initiatives and future directions for EU-China cooperation. Following roundtable exchanges, priorities for further EU-China cooperation were identified, including in the areas of policy and management, electronic medical records, telehealth, interoperability standards and big data.
ANIMAL HEALTH top
Harmonising the use of risk analysis to  ensure food safety:

The Chinese Food Safety Law and the European food safety regulatory environment, rely on the assessment of risk to ensure that agriculture products are safe for consumption.   In order to enhance the capacity of the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) in risk analysis, EUCTP II supported  a Roundtable on animal health risk assessment (November 2013)  and a conference on  the EU system to govern residues in Agriculture(November 2013). These activities preceded the signature of a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the area of risk assessment between the Chinese Animal Health and Epidemiology Center (CAHEC) from MOA and The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in Berlin.

The EUCPT II also continues to support the implementation of the three-year agreement signed by MOA and the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) towards the twinning of the Chinese Animal Health and Epidemiology Center (CAHEC) located in Qingdao, China, and ANSES’s Animal Health Laboratory located in Maisons-Alfort, France. With the ongoing support of EUCTP II through activities such as the Study Assignment to Standardise Animal Health Reference Laboratories (September 2013) and the Consultation to Harmonise Animal Health Reference Laboratory Standards (November 2013), the CAHEC laboratory’s capacity  continues to increase to ensure compliance with international standard.
EU and Chinese experts discuss risk assessment.
November 2013
 
FOOD SAFETY top
Supporting the development of food standards in China:

Risk assessment is fundamental for the development of food standards in China and the EU. In order to enhance the capacity of Chinese institutions to review and enforce standards, EUCTP II supported a series of in-depth training exercises and information sessions including a Workshop on Agro-Product Processing Technology (September 2103) a Workshop to simulate a Codex Alimentarius session (October 2013), a Study assignment on Food Additive Risk Analysis and Safety Standards (December 2013) and aWorkshop on quality and trade of olive oil  (October
European and Chinese experts during the simulated Codex Alimentarius Committee sessions. 10-12 October 2013
2013), to help further Chinese standardisers’ integration with the international standards system. The quality and authenticity assessment of agriculture products has been another focus within the food safety file, specifically in the area of alcoholic beverages. EUCTP II supported several activities in this area including a three-month Study Assignment on The EU regulatory and scientific approach on wine and Alcoholic beverages safety and authenticity (December 2013). This reinforced existing  EU-China Working Group on Alcoholic Beverages initiatives in which  there is consensus on the need to cooperate on networking and laboratory capacity building to support product authentication, traceability and other quality and safety assurance practices. This will help prevent the trade of counterfeited alcoholic beverages and associated fraudulent practices.
PLANT HEALTH top

Chinese and European experts discuss alternative sources for feed materials
25-26 September 2013
Promoting “Farm to Fork “strategies and food security:

The EU has some of the highest food safety requirements in the world, which recognise that foot safety starts at the farm. Considering the importance of animal feed within the food chain, this strategy includes regulations to ensure that feed and feed additives are safe for terrestrial and aquatic animal consumption. In China these issues are also being prioritised following the publication in November 2011 of China’s State Council Decree No.609 on Regulations on the Administration of Feed and Feed Additives. As a follow up to previous activities EUCTP II organised a
Seminar on EU Regulations to process feed and maintain feed catalogues in order to continue raising awareness about the newly implemented Chinese regulation, and support its enforcement.
LOW CARBON top
EU-China Strategic Partnership on Energy Security and Urbanisation – A comprehensive summary of practical outputs:

As the global demand for energy rises, minimising the environmental impacts of energy production and consumption is a complex challenge. China and the EU are working together closely in this area and have partnered on numerous projects facilitating policy developments and technological collaborations. Against the backdrop of the 18th National People’s Congress (NPC) held in March 2013 and the subsequent government restructuring, which affected the National Energy Administration in particular, it became necessary to help preserve institutional memory through this period of administrative change.
Through a joint effort by related EU-funded projects, EUCTP II prepared a bilingual brochure to illustrate existing cooperation under the auspices of the EU-China Strategic Partnership on Energy Security and Urbanisation. Various EU-funded projects in China provided input in order to ensure a comprehensive picture of the numerous activities on energy security and urbanisation, which were implemented inter alia by the China-EU Institute for Clean and Renewable Energy (ICARE), the Europe-China Clean Energy Centre (EC2) and the EU-China Trade Project II (EUCTP II).