Business & Economy

‘No intention of decoupling from China,’ EU trade chief says

Beijing, Sep 23 (EFE).- European Commission Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis, said Saturday that the European Union (EU) does not seek to decouple from China but “needs to protect itself in situations when its openness is abused.”

Speaking at an economic forum in Shanghai, Dombrovskis said that trade between EU and China last year reached €865 billion ($923 billion) but with a “very unbalanced” trade deficit of almost €400 billion.

“Our recent strategy on economic security aims to maximize the benefits of openness, while minimizing our strategic dependences and vulnerabilities,” Dombrovskis said at the forum.

“It involves gaining a deeper and exact understanding of the key risks that we face – and acting accordingly: to ‘de-risk’. This means minimizing our strategic dependencies for a select number of strategic products. Acting in a proportionate and targeted way to maintain our open strategic autonomy,” he added.

However, the EU official stressed that “de-risking is not decoupling,” adding that “the EU has no intention of decoupling from China.”

“We welcome global competition. But it must be conducted fairly,” Dombrovskis said.

He expressed the bloc’s wish to “work towards a more balanced trade and investment relationship” with China and urged Beijing to take measures to create a “more sustainable growth model” such as relying more on domestic demand, reducing high local government and corporate debt, improving its business environment and fulfilling its climate change commitments.

Dombrovskis is in China on a four-day visit to participate in the 10th China-European Union High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue.

His trip comes shortly after the EU announced the opening of an investigation into Chinese subsidies to electric vehicle makers. EFE


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