martes, 26 de noviembre de 2013

Trade is 'key tool' for EU growth

Adherence to international trading standards will be a crucial element of improved EU-China relations, explains Pablo Zalba Bidegain

Trade and investment are the key tools in Europe emergence from the current crisis, in that they generate growth and employment, as evidenced by recent data from Spain. The European Union is aware of this and is working hard to build an extensive network of trade and investment agreements.

The two trading powers of China and the EU have been called upon to come together and work towards this goal, which they have clearly demonstrated through the bilateral agreement negotiations they have been conducting between them. Direct Chinese investment in Europe continues to grow and is now in excess of two per cent while the EU's investments in the Asian giant are currently approaching 20 per cent, meaning that this agreement is to play an important role in promoting and strengthening social and economic relations between the two blocs through the establishment of a stable, legally secure framework.

The desire to improve and deepen our social and economic relations must be evident if we are to have the ability to deal with any potential trade issues that may arise. How do we make this desire to improve and deepen our relations a reality? The answer lies in complying with international standards, particularly those set by the World Trade Organisation. The open investigation currently being conducted by China to determine whether imports of European wine are being subjected to dumping has provided them with an opportunity to set a precedent in this regard. The investigation will hopefully be concluded in the very near future in compliance with the said standards, as this situation has resulted in the European commission having to keep in continuous contact both with the European parliament and our wine-growing industry.

Without such agreements, or the will to enter into them, developing our own strong trade relationships in our times will be impossible. We look to China and the European Union to set the example for such development.

Pablo Zalba Bidegain is a vice chair of parliament's economic and monetary affairs committee

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