Brussels and Beijing have agreed to cooperate on trade and competition after the two sides set up a dialogue on state aid.
The EU’s executive arm represented by the Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager, met Chinese officials in Beijing on 15 November for the first time since they signed a memorandum of understanding in June, to enter into a new dialogue between the EU and China.
Relations have been fraught because of EU efforts to resist dumping of steel by Chinese companies receiving unfair state aid, but it seems that according to the European Commission, China agreed on it as important to cooperate to ensure good economic relations with the bloc.
Commissioner Vestager said that it is of both EU and China’s interest to cooperate to promote fair global competition. “Antitrust, merger review and State aid control are important tools in ensuring that consumers can benefit from competitive markets and companies can compete on their merits. Both the European Commission and the Chinese competition agencies will work closely together for a coherent and efficient competition enforcement.”
Vestager further added that the cooperation of both sides on state aid is important to prevent public policies from restricting competition or distorting the market. In this context, Vestager welcomed China’s adoption of a Fair Competition Review System designed to ensure State measures do not adversely affect market entry and exit and the free movement of goods.
The next step of this new dialogue is the Commission’s meeting at a technical level with the 28 ministries in charge of implementing the Fair Competition Review System in China. This cooperation between the EU and China will continue and both sides agreed to take stock of the dialogue at the next EU-China Summit in 2018.