On September 28, during the High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue (HED) in Beijing, Vice-Premier Ma Kai informed Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen that China will contribute to the Commission’s €315 billion Investment Plan for Europe. With this move, China classified as the first non-EU country to announce its contribution to the Plan.
Besides this announcement, the two sides agreed to set up a joint working group to increase cooperation between the EU and China on all aspects of investment. The working group will include experts from China’s Silk Road Fund, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB). The EIB, the Commission’s strategic partner in the Investment Plan, was also represented at the HED in Beijing.
The European Commission and the Chinese government also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the EU-China Connectivity Platform to enhance synergies between China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative and the EU’s connectivity initiatives such as the Trans-European Transport Network policy. The Platform will promote cooperation in areas such as infrastructure, equipment, technologies and standards. This will create multiple business opportunities and promote employment, growth and development for both sides, and it will be done in cooperation with the EIB.
Vice-President Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “After a very constructive dialogue with Vice-Premier Ma Kai today, we have produced some real results for the future of EU-China cooperation in investment. This is the right moment to invest in Europe, and I am delighted that China has announced its intention to contribute to the Investment Plan. I am confident that other institutional investors will follow. We want to deepen our economic relations with China in the context of the Investment Plan, as well as the One Belt One Road initiative, to promote connectivity between EU and China.”
The Investment Plan for Europe has three objectives: removing obstacles to investment by deepening the single market, providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects, and making smarter use of new and existing financial resources. According to European Commission estimates, the Investment Plan has the potential to add at least €330 to €410 billion to the EU’s GDP and create 1 to 1.3 million new jobs over the coming years. It aims to address the current situation where the EU has sufficient liquidity, but private investors are not investing at the levels needed.