China-EU Alliance Can Boost Trade to $1t
World Economy

China-EU Alliance Can Boost Trade to $1t

The global economy is undergoing profound change. Confronted with this, Europe and Asia joint building of the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative will contribute to the development of a large integrated Eurasian market, and further deepen trade and investment ties.
In the coming five to 10 years, key building blocks will advance Eurasian economic integration: improving infrastructure connectivity between the EU and China, completing the bilateral investment treaty negotiations, and moving towards a free trade agreement, Chi Fulin wrote for The Parliament.
If the two sides were to agree on an ambitious FTA, it could give a boost to annual trade of up to nine per cent which could reach €0.89 trillion ($1 trillion) by 2020.
By the end of the decade, on the condition that China’s foreign trade in services reaches €1.07 trillion and that the share of service trade in the total China-EU trade rises from 13.2% in 2013 to 20% in 2020, the total volume of service trade between the two sides could be as large as €200-€220b.
The ‘Belt and Road’ initiative expands the possibilities for cooperation between think tanks in the EU and China. This collaboration between EU and Chinese think tanks could have an important role to play in constructing this initiative.

  Macro Policy Coordination
First, they could play a unique role in promoting macro policy coordination and supporting policymaking.
Second, they could enhance people-to-people ties and promote consensus for implementing the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative.
An important role of think tanks is to identify trends before they become mainstream and to guide and influence public opinion as well as policymakers.
Finally, they could play a unique role in undertaking independent research on the potential benefits of a China-EU FTA. Building a China-EU think tank alliance will provide intellectual support for construction of the ‘Belt and Road’.
To address the global challenges they each face, Europe and Asia need to join hands in building and promoting trade and investment liberalization across Eurasia.
This is why we need EU and Asian think tanks to work together. I would hope that if such an alliance can be established, it would lead to further platforms and mechanisms such as an annual China-EU think tank forum on the ‘Belt and Road’.
There is also scope for joint research projects and cooperation programs, while the alliance could, finally, provide consulting services for those directly involved in the building of an integrated Eurasian market.

  Li to Visit Europe
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will be in Europe this week to attend a China-EU summit in Brussels, as well as paying official visits to both Belgium and France. This trip marks Li’s sixth visit to Europe in the past three years, and his first official visit to EU headquarters since he assumed office in March 2013.
Li met with Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission. Juncker and Tusk took office in November  and December 2014, respectively; it was Li’s first meeting with them. The festivities weren’t exactly what might have been hoped for, as lingering questions about a possible Greek exit from the eurozone cast a pall over the meeting.
The main deliverables focused on economics, as is typical for China-Europe summits. Li announced that China will play a role in Juncker’s investment plan, the European Fund for Strategic Investment, that calls for €315 billion ($353 billion) to be invested in strategic projects around Europe–including infrastructure projects, China’s main area of interest under the Silk Road Economic Belt framework.

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