Policy Article

The EU-China Bilateral Investment Agreement in Negotiation: Motivation, Conflicts and Perspectives

Kiel Policy Briefs, 95

Since January 2014 China and the European Union (EU) have been negotiating a comprehensive bilateral investment agreement. In their paper Frank Bickenbach and Wan-Hsin Liu (Kiel Institute) and Guoxue Li from (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences) argue that a successful conclusion of these negotiations may be of great importance even beyond the bilateral EU-China investment relations. They show that both China and the EU have good reasons to pursue a comprehensive bilateral investment agreement and to conclude negotiations within a reasonable time frame. Although the general objectives of both parties seem to be broadly compatible with each other in principle, there are also several sources of potential disagreement, most notably with respect to the scope and the rules of opening domestic markets for incoming foreign investments and the less restrictive application of the national treatment standard. With respect to both these issues the investment agreement under negotiation must be substantially more comprehensive than China’s recent BITs with other developed countries.

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