Industry: EU-China agreement important building block for fairer competition rules

IV-GS Neumayer: Improved market access and more transparency with subsidies Opportunity for Europe – Concretize and conclude agreements quickly

Vienna (OTS) “Economic growth, investment and trade are increasingly taking place outside Europe. Access to important future markets as well as fair trade and investment rules are therefore decisive for the economic and social success of Europe and Austria. The investment agreement between the EU and China can make a significant contribution to significantly improving the legal security and export opportunities of domestic companies and their employees in one of the most important markets. That is why European and domestic industries have campaigned for this, ”emphasized Christoph Neumayer, General Secretary of the Federation of Industry (IV), on Thursday. The improved market access for European companies and more transparency in subsidies are central points of the previous agreement in principle and a breakthrough after long negotiations to achieve fairer competitive conditions between the EU and China. The commitment to measures in line with the Paris Climate Agreement is also positive.

Active European trade policy for high standards in the social, human rights and environmental areas Now it is a matter of specifying and concluding the agreement quickly. Above all, this must be seen before current international trade policy developments. The new Asia-Pacific trade agreement RCEP and the new trans-Pacific agreement CPTPP would put domestic exporters in promising markets under increasing pressure. “We have to create a level playing field with other regions through well-made and fair agreements,” said Neumayer, who advocates further EU trade agreements with important economic regions. In particular, a modern EU-USA agreement could be a great opportunity for both sides and create sustainable growth and jobs. “Free trade is not an end in itself, it creates access for domestic companies to important markets and fair competition. That is crucial for the people in Austria. Because schools, hospitals or social housing do not finance themselves. In order to ensure the high quality of life, the state is dependent on the taxes and duties of the exporting companies and their employees, ”says Neumayer. In addition, it is up to Europe to establish high standards in the social, human rights and environmental areas as well as technical norms through agreements around the world. With isolation you wouldn’t have this possibility.

China is an important economic partner for Austria China is the second most important import market and the tenth largest export destination for Austrian companies. Around 650 Austrian companies have branches in China, around 250 of which have production facilities. Austrian investments in China in 2019 amounted to EUR 3.56 billion, Chinese investments in Austria to EUR 1.1 billion. In the first three quarters of 2020, domestic companies exported goods worth EUR 2.83 billion to China and imported them for EUR 7.41 billion.

Inquiries & contact:

Federation of Industrialists
Sandra Bijelic
Press officer
+43 (1) 711 35-2305



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