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[Yearly Overview IV for Commerce Work] Redouble Efforts to Push China-EU Economic and Trade Cooperation to a New Level

In 2018, MOFCOM comprehensively carried out the decisions and deployment of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, thoroughly implemented the spirit of the 19th Communist Party of China National Congress and the spirit of the National Commercial Working Conference, firmly established the 鈥渇our consciousnesses鈥 grasped the 鈥渢wo overall situations鈥 further built China-EU partnership for peace, growth, reform and civilization proposed by President Xi Jinping, expanded and deepened China-EU economic and trade cooperation, and solidly promoted various tasks with positive progress.

I. Take the initiative to carry out high-level visits and related supporting activities.

In 2018, frequent high-level visits between China and the EU provided political momentum for bilateral economic and trade cooperation. President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Spain and Portugal. Premier Li Keqiang visited Bulgaria, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, attended the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting in the EU, and co-chaired the 20th China-EU Summit with EU leaders in Beijing. Vice Premier Hu Chunhua visited France twice and presided over the sixth China-France High-level Economic and Financial Dialogue. Vice Premier Liu He visited Germany and attended the Hamburg Summit of the China-EU Forum and co-chaired the seventh China-EU High-level Economic and Trade Dialogue with EU leaders in Beijing. Leaders and high-level officials from Germany, France, Britain, Austria, Serbia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Hungary, and Italy visited China. The Ministry of Commerce has organized economic and trade supporting activities such as the Entrepreneur Committee Establishment Meeting, the Economic and Trade Forum, the Entrepreneur Symposium and the Enterprises Matchmaking Meeting, and signed documents about service trade cooperation and SME cooperation with relevant departments of some governments to ensure the success of the high-level visits.

II. Attach great importance to promoting the active participation of European companies in the first China International Import Expo.

MOFCOM has vigorously attracted European countries and sent delegations to hold roadshows twice to promote the CIIE in Europe. European governments have actively participated in the CIIE and established 18 European pavilions. Thirty four countries have sent 56 officials at and above the vice minister level to attend the expo, including 9 officials and deputy officials at the state level. A large number of European companies attended the CIIE with a wide range of exhibitions, which became a highlight of the CIIE. The tour route for Chinese and foreign heads of state achieved good effects, and the explanations were wonderful and widely praised. During the CIIE, MOFCOM also organized abundant supporting economic and trade activities, including the China-Italy Entrepreneur Committee Meeting, the China-Greece Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum, the China-Finland Innovation Enterprise Cooperation Committee Meeting, and the China-Northern Europe Economic and Trade Forum, which has made the expo more interesting.

III. Make active efforts to promote the Belt and Road Initiative construction.

MOFCOM continuously implemented the follow-up work of the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, promoted the smooth development of trade between China and Europe, and created more cooperation opportunities for enterprises of both sides. MOFCOM enriched the economic and trade parts of the 鈥6+1 Cooperation鈥 successfully held the Supporting Economic and Trade Forum of the 7th Summit of Heads of Government of Central and Eastern European Countries and China, the 3rd Ministerial Conference of China and Central and Eastern European Countries on Promoting Trade and Economic Cooperation, and the 4th China-CEEC Investment and Trade Expo and continuously strengthened the cooperation with Central and Eastern European countries. In addition, the MOFCOM also actively promoted the third-party market cooperation between China and Europe, and signed the memorandum of understanding on strengthening third-party market cooperation with Netherlands, Belgium and Spain respectively to deepen and expand economic and trade cooperation.

IV Innovate forms to enhance the level of enterprises and local governments鈥cooperation with Europe.

MOFCOM continuously improved and innovated the joint committee mechanism, held 14 bilateral economic and trade joint committees meetings with the relevant departments of the European Union throughout the year, solved major economic and trade concerns and continuously improved the effectiveness and influence of the joint committee. MOFCOM vigorously promoted the 鈥渄ual tracks鈥dialogue, attached great importance to the role of the Entrepreneur Committee and the Economic Advisory Committee, and created a platform for enterprises to strengthen exchanges and cooperation. MOFCOM actively promoted the local cooperation between China and Europe, supported local cooperative industrial parks with Europe, and continuously advanced economic and trade cooperation and exchange mechanisms between China and Germany, and China and Britain.

V. Make solid efforts to advance the dialogues and negotiations in economic and trade fields.

China and the EU established the Joint Working Group on the WTO Reform and held two formal meetings. They have submitted a joint proposal to the WTO General Council on the dispute settlement appeal procedure reform, and safeguarded the multilateral trading system with practical actions. During the year, the two sides held three rounds of negotiations on China-Europe Investment Agreement to exchange list offers,and pushed the negotiations into a new level; the two sides held five rounds of negotiations on China-EU Geographical Indications Agreement, and properly handled the remaining issues. The signing of the agreement will help expand the trade in agricultural products between China and Europe.

2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. It is also the crucial year for realizing the first centenary goal of securing a decisive victory in finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. MOFCOM will continue to follow the guidance of the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the spirit of the 19th Communist Party of China National Congress, and thoroughly implement the deployment of the Central Economic Working Conference and the National Commercial Working Conference. In accordance with the 鈥渇our comprehensives鈥strategic layout, closely revolving around 鈥渙ne goal, six major tasks, and eight major action plans鈥formulated by MOFCOM Party Leadership Group, MOFCOM will innovate working methods, intensify efforts, and open up a new pattern of economic and trade work with Europe.

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