DIGITALEUROPE is committed to improving the European Union-China relationship. Studies found that by this year around 90% of economic growth will be generated outside Europe, with one third in China alone, now the world’s largest economy as per PPP valuation. DIGITALEUROPE members recognize the strong potential of the Chinese market, as driven by recent government policies promoting the take-up and the integration of ICT and related technologies in everyday life in China.
We believe that a positive dialogue between China and the EU is a key condition to ensure and promote investment in technology development, innovation and deployment, which together would greatly benefit the ICT industry in both Europe and China. Boosting EU-China trade will provide a win-win situation for China and Europe. EU-China trade should be guided by reciprocity, such as offering a fair and open market access with no restrictions on foreign vendors.
With the formation of the new European Commission alongside the Chinese Government’s launch of a reflection period around the next 13th 5 year plan, DIGITALEUROPE believes the upcoming 40 years anniversary of the EU-China relations and the next EU-China Summit will be an opportune moment for the European Commission to engage with their Chinese counterparts on the challenges which are further elaborated below.
Furthermore, the EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation includes key objectives reviewed annually such as the opportunity of exploring joint research and innovation initiatives in ICT, by developing joint funding programs and promoting enhanced mutual participation of Chinese and EU researchers and innovators into respective programs.
We view positively initiatives aiming at improving trade and we support the bilateral investments negotiations ongoing. Over the past 30 years, China achieved tremendous economic success by attracting foreign direct investments (FDI) in many sectors. We hope China will continue opening new areas of investment and reduce existing restrictions on FDI, in all areas related to the ICT sector, including information security regulations, future networks, IOT and smart cities, mapping and navigation. Recognizing this aspect, leading European companies invested heavily in Chinese labor because of their highly skilled and innovative labor force and are strongly committed to continuing this process.
It is in our joint strategic interest to create a strong global ecosystem and to cooperate in the field of new technologies. Guaranteeing free market access, strong IP protection and sound, transparent regulatory enforcement in line with WTO obligations and the creation of a level playing field amongst all players would yield a number of benefits to the economy and industry as a whole. Openness and competition drive innovation, strengthening the industry position on global market and securing its place in global value chains. This is especially true in the ICT industry because of the global nature of technology markets.
We are confident that cooperation aiming at adoption of global rules will enable the progress of the ICT industry. DIGITALEUROPE would like to respectfully present areas which should be given continued consideration by European Union Institutions and EU Member States, in their regular dialogues with Chinese authorities, so as to enable a true level playing field while helping China achieve its objectives.