Europe’s ministers, meeting at the European Foreign Affairs Council, have approved a mandate for the European Commission to start negotiating an investment agreement with China on behalf of the EU.
An EU-China investment agreement will, among other things, improve the protection of EU investments in China and reduce barriers to investment in China. This will help increase investment flows between the EU and China, and improve access to Chinese markets. Negotiations on the agreement should be completed within 2.5 years.
The Council also approved an updated mandate allowing the Commission to open negotiations on investment protection provisions with the ASEAN countries. This will be carried out as part of on-going free trade negotiations with the ASEAN countries (specifically Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand).