Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

EU – China cooperation

EU – China cooperation

The Directorate-General (DG) for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs works to address issues encountered by EU industry when operating in, or exporting to China, through dialogues with the Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The EU and China also cooperate in a number of sectorial dialogues. 

These dialogues help EU companies and policymakers better understand the Chinese legal and regulatory framework, while promoting the reforms needed to improve the business environment in China.

They contribute to the free and safe circulation of goods through the promotion of convergence of regulations and standardisation in China and the EU.

The dialogues also provide a framework for EU support of open and non-discriminatory markets covering all industrial products that are subject to EU technical regulations, conformity assessment (including certification and accreditation), and standardisation.

Each dialogue has established sectorial working groups.

Dialogue with the Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China (AQSIQ)

This dialogue has been running since 2001 and is held on a regular basis at working group level. Cooperation is very effective in the areas of standards and conformity assessment. In 2012 a web-based tool was launched, the Europe-China Standardization Information Platform, to offer businesses information about the standards that are applicable to highly-traded, regulated products. The platform can offer insight to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in their quest to go international.

In the area of conformity assessment, one priority is to increase exchanges on product risk assessment, risk management and market surveillance to support China’s work on simplifying the China 'compulsory certification scheme'. This system requires certain products to meet national Chinese standards. Other priorities are: fostering international standards, making better use of voluntary international conformity assessment schemes and improving competition in certification services.

Additionally, there are working groups on the following sectors: automotive, chemicals, electrical and mechanical products, textiles, toys, wine and spirits

A plenary meeting takes place annually to discuss major issues and plan future cooperation. The last plenary meeting took place in November 2017. Items on the agenda were the reform of the Chinese standardisation system, the latest changes to the conformity assessment system, market surveillance and product safety. 

Website of the Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China (AQSIQ)

Dialogue with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT)

The dialogue with MIIT was established in 2009 and covers industrial policy in general, with specific working groups on: resource efficiency, SME policy, automobiles, shipbuilding,  and raw materials. The last plenary took place in November 2017 and was chaired by Vice-Minister Xin Guobin and Director-General of DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Lowri Evans. They updated each other on economic and industrial developments in their respective regions and heard the reports on the activities of the working groups. Industry representatives also outlined what they considered key issues for the EU and China in industrial cooperation. 

Dialogue on medical devices and cosmetics

DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs has a Consultation and Cooperation Mechanism with the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) covering medical devices and cosmetics. The last meeting took place in November 2017 in Beijing.

Dialogue on public procurement

The DG has a regulatory dialogue with the Chinese Ministry of Finance on public procurement which was established in 2006. It allows for concrete discussions on the Agreement on Government Procurement accession process. The last dialogue took place in November 2017 in Beijing and included a high-level meeting between Vice-Minister Liu Wei and Director-General Evans.

Dialogue on space

DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs also has a dialogue on space with China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST). A joint statement on cooperation was signed during the EU-China Summit in September 2012 between former European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani and Minister Wan Gang. The third meeting of the European Union-ESA–China Space Dialogue took place on 19 June 2015 in ESA HQ, Paris. The meeting was chaired by Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA, Director General, Daniel Calleja, former Director-General of this DG and Mr Jianlin CAO, Vice Minister.

Space cooperation between Europe and China is growing rapidly. Both sides welcomed the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) frequency coordination that has been achieved between Galileo and BeiDou in January 2015. Cooperation is also continuing through the China-Europe GNSS Technology Training and Cooperation Centre (CENC). Chinese organisations have been involved in Horizon 2020 space research projects such as COMPET (Space Science and Exploration) and in PROTECT (Space Weather and Near Earth Objects).

Dialogue on sustainable tourism

The DG has a dialogue on sustainable tourism with the Chinese National Tourism Administration. Both administrations launched the EU-China year of tourism in 2018.