EU-China Investment Agreement in Making: Time for Stocktaking of Investment Liberalization in IIAs

AutorWeiwei Zhang
EU-China Investment Agreement
in Making: Time for Stocktaking of
Investment Liberalization in IIAs
e 16th EU-China Summit, held on 21 November 2013, herald-
ed the launch of the negotiations of a comprehensive EU-China Invest-
ment Agreement.1 For the EU, this Agreement, once concluded, will be-
come the rst stand-alone investment agreement since the EU gained the
exclusive competence for foreign direct investmentfollowing the Lisbon
Treaty.2 While the shaping of the EU’s overall foreign investment poli-
cies is underway, the European Commission’s evolving positions on issues
such as the much debated investor state dispute settlement (ISDS), the
standard of protection, the transition of the BITs formerly concluded by
its member States, will denitely play a role in the making of the current
1 Press release, «EU and China begin investment talks», European Commission,
Brussels, 20 January 2014,
2 Press release, «16th EU-China Summit (Beijing, 21 November 2013)», European
Commission, Brussels, 19 November 2013.
Weiwei ZHANG*
* Postdoctoral Researcher, Graduate Institute of International and Development
Studies, Geneva, Switzerland.
EU-China BIT negotiations. On the Chinese side, an ambitious US-Chi-
na BIT is in sight. In 2013 the US-China BIT negotiations achieved a
major breakthrough that China agreed to negotiate on investment liberal-
ization in the context of the BIT.3 Since the US-China BIT will be China’s
rst BIT undertaking investment liberalization commitments, the market
access concessions negotiated and achieved there will inevitably inuence
the breadth and depth of the current EU-China BIT negotiations. Given
these undercurrents, it comes as no surprise that few details are published
on the progress of such negotiations.4 Yet, the purpose of this EU-China
BIT has been dened as to provide for progressive liberalization of invest-
ment and the elimination of restrictions for investors to each other’s mar-
ket.5 While market access is a familiar topic in international trade law, it is
a much less researched area in international investment law. is contribu-
tion will take the EU-China BIT negotiations as a context to explore legal
challenges in making market access commitments in a stand-alone BIT,
especially in view of the liberalization commitments already made by both
parties in multilateral and other regional trade and investment agreements.
3 China’s Ministry of Commerce, «e History of Commerce: China-US BIT and
China-EU BIT», see
8%A4-2 .
4 EU and China reached a milestone in January 2016 when the two sides converged
on scope. See European Union press release, «EU and China agree on scope of
the future investment deal», Brussels, 15 January 2016.
doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1435 e latest report from the European Commission
to the European Parliaments indicated that the Parties had merged their text pro-
posals into a joint text, the techinical details of which are yet to be nalised. Fur-
thermore, the exchange of market access oers has not taken place yet. See http://
004320+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN. See also European Commission DG Trade,
«EU-China Investment Agreement: Report of the 12th Round of negotiations»,
Brussels 26-30 September 2016.
ber/tradoc_155061.pdf .
5 European Union press release, «EU and China agree on scope of the future in-
vestment deal», Brussels, 15 January 2016,
index.cfm?id=1435 .

Para continuar leyendo

Solicita tu prueba

VLEX utiliza cookies de inicio de sesión para aportarte una mejor experiencia de navegación. Si haces click en 'Aceptar' o continúas navegando por esta web consideramos que aceptas nuestra política de cookies. ACEPTAR