China must make big improvements if it is to finalise an investment deal with the Eurpean Union (EU), European companies have said.
“The European side has made it very clear that it cannot meet China in the middle,” Joerg Wuttke, President of the European Union Chamber of Commerce said on Thursday.
According to Wuttke, fair competitive conditions already apply in Europe – both for domestic and Chinese companies.
In China, however, this is still not the case and therefore it is up to Beijing to “close the gap,” he said.
Wuttke’s comments come ahead of summit talks between the EU and Beijing planned for next week.
The chamber president said he was not very confident that a comprehensive deal satisfying EU companies could be made.
According to Wuttke, the window of opportunity for an agreement with China is also closing and the deal must come this year.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, EU Council President Charles Michel and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen intend to join forces with China’s President Xi Jinping for the talks next Monday via video conference.
One of the topics will be the planned investment deal, which has been under negotiation for six years. (dpa/NAN)