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16th Jan 2019

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China to join Juncker's investment scheme

  • Katainen and Ma agreed to boost cooperation on investment (Photo: Trey Ratcliff)

The EU and China agreed on Monday (28 September) to step up their cooperation on investment, with China promising to participate in the EU €315 billion investment plan.



At a high level economic and trade dialogue in Beijing, the EU and China also signed an agreement on transport and communication networks.

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"I am delighted that China has announced its intention to contribute to the investment plan," said Jyrki Katainen, the vice-president of the EU Commission in charge of jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness.

At an EU-China summit in Brussels in June, Chinese PM Li Keqiang had already promised to invest in Europe, saying it was a "grand decision".

"I am confident that other institutional investors will follow," he noted, referring to the fact that China is the first non-EU state to announce its participation to the so-called Juncker plan launched last year by the Commission's president.

Neither Katainen nor Ma Kai, the Chinese vice-prime minister he met, gave any indication on the amount of China's participation in the plan. Details should be settled before the end of the year.

"Europe has confidence in the Chinese economy and China has confidence in European economic recovery," Ma said.

Katainen and Ma agreed in addition to set up a joint working group aimed at developing cooperation on investment. The group will include experts from the EU Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Silk Road Fund, a $40-billion fund established last year to support China's so-called Silk Road infrastructure plan across Asia.

They also discussed increased cooperation between China and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), with possible Chinese membership in the EBRD.

Silk Road

Katainen was in the Chinese capital with two colleagues, transport commissioner Violeta Bulc and digital economy commissioner Guenther Oettinger.

Bulc attended the signing of a EU-China Connectivity Platform. The deal is aimed at developing synergies between China's "One Belt One Road" initiative - the plan including the Silk Road and a so-called Maritime Silk Road in the south-Asian seas - and EU plans such as the Trans-European Transport Network policy - a set of projects to improve rail, road and fluvial connections in Europe.

The scheme will "promote employment, growth and development in our countries," Bulc said.

5G

Oettinger, for his part, signed a joint declaration with Chinese minister of industry and information technology Miao Wei to facilitate the development of 5G mobile networks.

The EU and China will cooperate to harmonize 5G standards and develop common research.

The EU and China will "reach a global understanding, by the end of 2015, on the concept, basic functionalities, key technologies and time plan for 5G," the Commission said in a statement.

"Both parties are committed to reciprocity and openness in terms of access to 5G networks research funding, market access as well as in membership of Chinese and EU 5G associations".

Opinion

Behind the UK-China-EU ménage à trois

In the short-term, the UK-China 'golden decade' will be reflected in a series of multi-billion pound business deals. In the medium-term, it has the potential to make the UK China's largest offshore renminbi intermediary worldwide.

Juncker fund: €50bn mobilised so far

The flagship EU investment fund has mobilised so far €50 billion in investment, says the president of the European Investment Bank.

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