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EU ties benefiting third-country markets

By Cecily Liu in Madrid, Spain | China Daily | Updated: 2018-11-29 10:39

China and the European Union should cooperate when dealing with challenges to globalization by continuing to support free trade and multilateralism, leading experts have urged.

They noted that China's structural shift toward advanced manufacturing and domestic consumption, and its further opening-up, will mean great business opportunities for Europe.

"As China continues to grow with consistency and stability, undoubtedly it will provide a big and growing market to foster China-EU collaboration," said Liu Shijin, deputy director of the Economic Affairs Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Liu added that collaborative opportunities are especially abundant in knowledge-intensive service sectors, creative industries and advanced industrial sectors.

"Deeper China-EU collaboration not only benefits the development of both parties but also provides the basis for strong, balanced, resilient and sustainable global development," Liu said.

At the 20th China-EU Summit in July, China and the EU affirmed their commitment to further collaboration to consolidate economic and trade relations and work together on the basis of mutual respect, fairness, and win-win cooperation.

"In the long term, China's importance as a strategic market for the EU can only increase and the deepening of their cooperation is inevitable," said Ivona Ladjevac, head of the regional center for the Belt and Road Initiative at the Institute of International Politics and Economics in Belgrade, Serbia.

Bernard Dewit, chairman of the Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, added that China and the EU have a great foundation for collaboration because both have prioritized multilateral issues including environmental protection, financial system governance and stable economic growth.

"We should put the emphasis on what we have in common," he said. "China has played an important stabilizing role for the global economy, especially after the 2008 financial crisis, and Europe is also trying to provide certainty and confidence to the world economy in its own way. There is great scope for dialogue."

Gu Xuewu, director of the Center for Global Studies at the University of Bonn in Germany, urged China and the EU to collaborate further on creating new guidelines for relatively new fields including digitalization and cybersecurity, strengthen international financial stability and work together on investment and trade activities in third-country markets including Africa and Latin America.

Andres Ortega, a senior researcher at the Elcano Royal Institute in Spain, said China-EU collaboration in third-country markets is particularly important in the context of strengthening Belt and Road connectivity.

"Many European companies ... have a lot to offer when collaborating with Chinese companies ... and such partnerships bring benefits for not only China and the EU, but also many developing economies," Ortega said.

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