Karel De Gucht, the European Union’s trade commissioner, will travel to Beijing on June 21 for the annual joint committee with Gao Hucheng, China’s minister of commerce, to discuss bilateral trade and investment relations.
The talks are expected to focus on the preparations for the launch of negotiations for a joint investment agreement, market access barriers in a number of sectors, licensing and market access issues in the area of financial and telecommunication services and ways to improve the enforcement of and cooperation on intellectual property rights. Furthermore, the joint committee will provide an opportunity to take stock of developments in Geneva as both sides prepare for the World Trade Organization Ministerial in Bali, Indonesia, later this year.
De Gucht confirmed that both countries have agreed on the agenda for the joint committee. She noted the solar panel dispute will not be discussed, although discussions on that have begun with a team of Chinese experts in Brussels in order to find a negotiated settlement.