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EU wants early start of investment negotiations with China

2013-02-09 08:37 Xinhua     Web Editor: Mo Hong'e comment

The European Union (EU) intends to start negotiations early on a substantial investment agreement with China, said an EU conclusion following the EU summit on Friday.

It notes that the EU's agenda with China is "broad and ambitious." "Priorities in the short term should focus on investment, market access, procurement and intellectual property rights" and "be based on a constructive and strategic engagement," the conclusion said.

"China is the second largest trading partner of the EU, and the EU is the best preferred foreign investment destination for Chinese enterprises," said Wu Hailong, Chinese ambassador to the EU.

According to Friday's EU conclusion, the 27-member bloc reiterates its support for a comprehensive trade agreement which should pay particular attention to ways to achieve greater transatlantic regulatory convergence.

"The Commission will push ahead to realize the full potential of an integrated transatlantic free trade agreement," said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso at a press conference following the summit.

"I hope that very soon the High Level Working Group will present to us and President Obama a recommendation to launch negotiations on a transatlantic trade agreement," he said.

"We will also soon launch negotiations with Japan. Widening the trade agenda with these two partners would be transformative not only for the European, but for the international economy," said Barroso.

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