Commissioner Vestager meets Chinese counterparts in Beijing to
discuss competition policy and economic reform
Beijing/Brussels, 16-17 March 2016 - During her visit
to Beijing on 16-17 March, Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager had
various meetings with her counterparts in the Chinese Ministry of Commerce
(Mofcom), the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC), the
National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the State-Owned Assets
Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), and the Development
Research Center of the State Council (DRC), to discuss cooperation on
competition issues between the EU and China, as well as China's reform
The meetings took place against the background of the
release of China's 13th Five Year Plan last year, which will steer
China's transition to a more sustainable economic model until 2020, including
by defining the role of the market and restructuring the economy to tackle
overcapacity. Competition policy plays a central role in this context.
Following her meetings, Commissioner Vestager said:
"The meetings confirmed our shared interest in strengthening our
cooperation on competition matters. They provided me with a first-hand sense
of the challenges and urgency of China's reform—in particular the ambition to
let the market shape the economy, for domestic and foreign operators alike. I
believe the European experience of building our open single market and our
history of restructuring and liberalising a number of sectors contains useful
ideas in this respect. In particular, I shared with my Chinese counterparts
the Commissions experiences as enforcer of state aid control within the single
The mechanisms to ensure fairness and transparency were a
common denominator of the exchanges. In particular, Commissioner Vestager met
with Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng to discuss merger review in China
and the EU, also in the context of the recent cooperation framework signed
in October 2015. This guidance has established best practices to
strengthen cooperation and coordination between the EU and China on reviewing
mergers, allowing the Commission and Mofcom to share information and discuss
timetables at key stages of investigations, to increase their efficiency.
Commissioner Vestager also met with Minister of
the SAIC Zhang Mao to discuss ongoing cooperation and competition
enforcement in the two jurisdictions.
With the Vice Chairman of the NDRC Hu Zucai, Commissioner Vestager spoke
about current antitrust issues in the two jurisdictions, the NDRC's
initiatives to prohibit the abuse of administrative monopoly and plans to
introduce the prior review of government measures.
Commissioner Vestager also met with Xiao Yaqing,
the newly appointed Chairman of SASAC, to discuss reform of state-owned
enterprises in China also in the context of the guidelines published by the
SASAC for the reform of state-owned enterprises in September 2015.
The meeting with DRC Chairman Li Wei provided an
opportunity to review the challenges of China's reform, which the EU follows
with great interest given its implications not only for China, but for the
world economy and bilateral relations with the EU.
In her meetings, Commissioner Vestager underlined
the EU's determination to act against trade distortions in steel and the
urgency of finding effective solutions to address overcapacity. Given China's
central role to play, Commissioner Vestager welcomed her counterparts'
willingness to work together to resolve this serious issue.