EU trade chief warns virus may delay China trade deal beyond fall
EUROPEAN Union Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan told the international trade committee of the European Parliament on that a planned March meeting with Chinese officials would now probably not happen, reports Aljazeera
25 February 2020 - 19:00
A planned European Union-China investment agreement looks unlikely to be struck by September as planned because of the coronavirus outbreak, said Mr Hogan.
The European Commission chief and other senior EU officials were to meet Chinese counterparts in Beijing in late March before an EU-Chinese summit to be held in Leipzig, Germany, in September - ideally to sign a deal.
Said Mr Hogan: 'There's a lot of time lost now and going to be lost because of the coronavirus. A lot of meetings have been cancelled. If we were going to get a deal by the Leipzig summit we would have to largely have it completed by July.'
The EU sees the agreement as opening more sectors of the Chinese economy to investment by European companies, as well as setting conditions for them to do so, such as whether they have to do so jointly with a local Chinese firm.
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