Business / View

China-EU FTA should be in place by 2020: Chinese scholar

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-06-18 14:32
BRUSSELS - China and the EU should consider the year 2020 as a deadline to conclude China-EU FTA talks, Chi Fulin, president of the think tank China Institute for Reform and Development (CIRD), said in an interview with Xinhua.

Chi said the next few years till 2020 is not only the window phase for China's economic transformation, but is also a key period for the EU's economic recovery and sustainable growth.

"Taking the year of 2020 as the time node, China and EU can become a huge market for deepened economic cooperation," he said.

Although China is currently faced with pressure from economic slowdown, new trends, new structures and new engines for economic transformation are emerging, which is creating important and historic opportunities for much wider and deeper economic and trade cooperation between China and EU, Chi said.

He said with administrative and market monopoly in the service sector being eliminated, private capital may well become the major force for the development of the service sector.

"Service markets such as education, medical care, healthcare and others will be opened up to the outside world in a manageable manager," said Chi.

He believed that establishing an integrated huge market for China and EU to continuously deepen their cooperation will have great impacts not only on China's economic transformation, but also on EU's economic recovery and sustainable development.

On one hand, China needs to learn EU's advanced technology and management expertise to develop its own modern service industries. While on the other, as EU has on the whole entered the post-industrial era, it possesses unique advantages with advanced technology and mature management expertise both in producer service sectors and in consumer service sectors, he explained.

Regarding the challenges and difficulties ahead, Chi cited an old Chinese saying: "One cannot risk big things for the sake of small ones." It cannot be neglected that many technical issues are standing in the way of deepening cooperation between China and EU.

To further deepen economic and trade cooperation, China and EU have to seize new opportunities and aim at a wider landscape, he added.

CIRD in Hainan province and the Brussels-based Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS), have both published their own research reports recently proposing that China and the EU take decisive actions in further realizing their trade potential.

"CEPS and CIRD already share a number of same ideas, I strongly suggest that the leaders of both sides consider a timetable of talks at their upcoming meeting in Beijing next month and I propose that we should consider year 2020 as a deadline to conclude talks," Chi said.

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks