China, US complete text negotiation on BIT

Beijing, PTI | Updated : 07 March 2015, 01:41 PM

China and the US have completed the text negotiation on a bilateral investment treaty which will have significant implications for global investment rules when it is implemented, a senior Chinese minister said today.

The China-US negotiation is advancing toward a period of exchanging the negative lists on which foreign investments are restricted by host countries, China’s Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng told a media briefing here on the sidelines of the ongoing session of China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC).

Given the US and China, the world’s biggest and second biggest economies, have different development levels, national conditions and growth modes, the negative lists exchange would be a challenge to each side, he said.

China-US has over USD 500 billion annual trade, accounting for more than USD 1 billion a day.

Despite the challenge, the two sides have maintained close communications and interactions, Gao said.

The completion of negotiation on and the signing of the China-US Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) will have significant implications for global investment rules, Gao said.

With regard to the BIT negotiation with the European Union, China’ largest trade partner, Gao said China just received the negotiation text authorised by the new European Union (EU) leadership.

The Chinese side is translating, evaluating and studying the EU negotiation text and is preparing for submitting such a text to the EU.

Gao said despite challenges from the global economy, China is confident to deliver the target of increasing its trade volume by around six per cent this year.

China aims to increase its imports and exports by around 6 per cent, according to the government work reported on Thursday by Premier Li Keqiang to the National People’s Congress annual session.

The growth rate is lower than the target of around 7.5 per cent set last year.

Hit by waning global market demand and declining commodity prices, China’s imports and exports rose by 2.3 per cent in 2014.

“Domestic and foreign trade environments for China this year are not improved markedly. To fulfil the foreign trade growth target, efforts should be made to implement the existing policies to stabilise foreign trade increase,” Gao said.

China should endeavor to promote trade facilitation, strengthen support for businesses in the process of industrial upgrading, climb the global value ladder, focus on innovation-driven competitiveness and encourage the development of new export models like e-commerce, he said.

First Published: Saturday, March 07, 2015 01:39 PM
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