The Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) is a proposed investment agreement between the European Union (EU) and China. The agreement is expected to provide greater access for EU investors to the Chinese market and offer greater protection for European investments in China.
The negotiations for the CAI began in 2013 but only gained momentum in 2019. The agreement is expected to cover a range of issues related to investment, including market access, fair competition, sustainable development, and dispute resolution.
One of the key features of the CAI is its focus on market access. The agreement is expected to provide greater access to the Chinese market for EU investors in sectors such as renewable energy, environmental services, and finance. The agreement also includes provisions for the removal of investment barriers, such as joint venture requirements and equity caps, for EU investors.
In addition to market access, the CAI also includes provisions for fair competition. The agreement is expected to establish a level playing field for EU investors in China, ensuring that they are not disadvantaged by discriminatory practices or unfair competition. The CAI also includes provisions for transparency, ensuring that EU investors have access to information about Chinese regulatory processes and decision-making.
Sustainable development is also a key feature of the CAI. The agreement is expected to include provisions for environmental and labor standards, ensuring that EU investors in China operate in a sustainable and socially responsible manner. The agreement is also expected to promote the transfer of green technology and support the development of a low-carbon economy in China.
Finally, the CAI includes provisions for dispute resolution. The agreement is expected to establish a mechanism for the resolution of disputes between EU investors and the Chinese government, ensuring that any issues are addressed in a timely and transparent manner.
Overall, the CAI is an ambitious investment agreement that has the potential to significantly boost investment between the EU and China. The agreement is expected to provide greater access to the Chinese market for EU investors, establish a level playing field for fair competition, promote sustainable development, and establish a mechanism for dispute resolution. While negotiations are ongoing, the CAI represents a significant step forward in EU-China relations and has the potential to provide significant benefits for both sides.