15th European Union-China Summit opened in Brussels on Friday. On the opening day, the European Commission's competition department and China's antitrust authorities signed a Memorandum of Understanding to increase cooperation between the two sides.
EU Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton, Chinese National Development and Reform Commission Chairman Zhang Ping, and Vice Minister of the State Administration of Industry and Commerce Fu Shuangjan have signed the MoU.
Joaquín Almunia, Commission Vice President in charge of competition policy, said "the Memorandum of Understanding will give new impetus to our cooperation with China in the enforcement of our respective competition laws".
The Memorandum of Understanding creates a dedicated framework to strengthen cooperation and coordination between the Commission and two of China's Anti Monopoly Enforcement Authorities, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC).
The Memorandum covers legislation, enforcement and technical cooperation regarding cartels, other restrictive agreements and the abuse of dominant market positions.
The conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding sends a positive signal for an intensified cooperation on competition matters between the EU and China, the second most important trading partner of the EU. Under the new framework, the parties may engage in discussions on competition legislation and share non-confidential information on competition investigations.
The signatories to the Memorandum of Understanding are the Competition Directorate-General of the European Commission and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC).
Separately, EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming signed a financing agreement promoting the environment, transition towards a low-carbon economy and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in China.
The EU will help China in meeting its environmental, energy- and carbon-intensity targets and in the long run, contribute towards achieving a global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The EU support will result - through pilot projects - in providing technical assistance, training and fostering exchanges of experience, best practice and know-how in areas like the low-carbon economy and the green economy. The three projects -for which the EU contribution amounts to EUR25 million- will be implemented over a period of 4 years and focus on areas like water, waste and heavy metal pollution, emission trading system (ETS) and sustainable urbanization.
Delivering his opening remarks at the summit, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said the Summit will focus on "our bilateral relations, the state of the world economy, our cooperation on climate negotiations and on the G20 agenda; and on some of the most
relevant international and regional issues that threaten peace and stability."
He expressed confidence that this Summit will contribute to the further consolidation of EU-China Strategic Partnership.
by RTT Staff Writer
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