Since 2017, under the strong leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China with Comrade Xi Jinping as its core, MOFCOM has maintained political integrity, thought from the big picture, followed the leadership core, kept in alignment with the central Party leadership, comprehensively implemented the spirit of the 19th CPC National Congress, deeply studied President Xi Jinping’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, carried out new development ideas and steadily promoted the work to develop the economic and trade relationship between China and Europe. Remarkable achievements have been made.
1. Focus on the preparation of high-level exchange of visits between China and Europe
This year, the frequency of high-level reciprocal visits between China and the Europe hit the record high in recent years. MOFCOM has undertaken and completed important economic and trade work during the high-level visits including Chairman Xi Jinping’s three visits to the Europe and his attendance at the Davos World Economic Forum and the G20 Hamburg Summit, Premier Li Keqiang’s two visits to the Europe and his attendance at 19th China-EU Summit and the 6th Summit of the Heads of Government of China and Central and Eastern European Countries. Zhang Dejiang, Liu Yunshan and Zhang Gaoli and other leaders visited 10 European countries such as Poland and Portugal. MOFCOM prepared trade and economic materials and activities for the leaders of 15 European countries like Italy and the EU during their visit to China; organized the dialogue between the Chinese-German Economic Advisory Committee and the premiers of the two countries, and the 12th EU-China Business Summit; actively prepared for the 7th EU-China High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue, and China-Britain and China-France financial dialogues. Through the economic and trade arrangements during the high-level reciprocal visits, the foundation for bilateral relations has been laid and bilateral cooperation has been promoted in depth.
2. Steadily promote the Belt and Road construction
MOFCOM successfully prepared for the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, invited 7 leaders of the EU and its member countries and 8 trade and economic ministers to attend the forum and the thematic session of trade connectivity; guided economic and commercial agencies in Europe to participate in the discussion of the initiative on promoting unimpeded trade cooperation along the Belt and Road routes, getting 10 European countries’ support for China’s initiative; enriched the economic and trade contents of “16+1” cooperation, making it an important platform for the Belt and Road construction; jointly held the 3rd China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo with Zhejiang Provincial Government, and promoted the establishment of the “Air Silk Road” freight transport cooperation between Henan Province and Luxembourg, expanding the breadth and depth of economic and trade cooperation.
3. Resolve the economic and trade frictions
Focusing on the core concerns of the EU’s fulfillment of its obligations under the 15th article of the Protocol on China's accession to the WTO and the EU-China steel trade mechanism, MOFCOM has properly handled the frictions and divergence and ensured smooth negotiations. Taking advantage of the high-level exchange of visits, we conducted intensive consultations with the EU on the 15th article and urged the EU to fulfill its obligations under the Protocol, safeguarding China's legitimate rights and interests. We continued to follow the process of EU’s amending of the anti-dumping laws and regulations and paid attention to the possible impact on our economic and trade interests. We meticulously prepared for the holding of the preparatory meeting of EU-China steel trade mechanism, insisting on our negotiation stand and finally reaching a favorable consensus.
4. Innovate forms to enhance the standards of service enterprises and regional cooperation
Establishing the concept of "big business", MOFCOM innovated and improved the forms and contents of the joint committee, introduced the topics such as the Belt and Road cooperation, innovative cooperation, regional cooperation and cooperation between SMEs, invited relevant departments and local government representatives to attend the meeting, and spread the effectiveness and influence of the joint committee. In 2017, 13 bilateral joint economic and trade meetings were held with the economic and trade authorities of European countries. China-Finland Committee for Innovative Business Cooperation was established, and the exchange meetings of Chinese provinces’ economic and trade cooperation with Germany, and the China-British and China-France regional cooperation mechanism meetings were held. We have seriously coordinated and properly solved the investment disputes of European enterprises in China.
5. Strengthen guidance to give full play to the economic and commercial organizations in the EU.
We attached great importance to the political and business guidance of the economic and commercial organizations in the EU and kept the effective collaboration and cooperation home and abroad. We presided over the meeting for the officials in charge of some economic and commercial organizations in Europe in June in Italy, deeply explaining the important diplomatic ideas of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, comprehensively deploying our economic and trade work in Europe and putting forward the requirements on strengthening political theory study, promoting the construction of a clean Party and intensifying the inner management. In November, we guided the economic and commercial organizations in the EU to compile the Cooperation Plans for Countries of the Belt and Road Construction which has been implemented.
The year 2018 is the 40th anniversary of the reform and opening up as well as the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. We will thoroughly implement the spirit of the 19 NPC and the plans of the Central Economic Work Conference. Guided by President Xi Jinping's socialism with Chinese characteristics for a New Era, we will serve the overall situation of reform and opening up, and strive to comprehensively complete the diplomatic work in the EU for the two centenary goals and national rejuvenation.