A European expert on China-EU cooperation has expressed optimism over the perspective of collaboration between Beijing and Brussels despite concerns expressed by some EU officials.
In a recent written interview with Xinhua, Luigi Gambardella, president of ChinaEU, a Brussels-based business-led association, said that in the coming five years, China is expected to import 8 trillion euros of goods, attract 600 billion euros of foreign investments and make 750 billion euros of outbound investment, and Chinese tourists will make 700 million overseas visits.
« For the EU consumers and business, China is an opportunity, » Gambardella stressed.
On a recent statement by a senior European official that China can be a threat to the EU, Gambardella said such a statement has misunderstood the term EU, because it represents 500 million consumers who have benefited from cooperation with China.
« Their mistake was to confuse the term EU with the 500 million consumers living in the EU member states. For the EU consumers and business, China is an opportunity, » Gambardella said.
In his opinion, such a statement reflects the fact that some EU officials feel threatened by the Brexit vote, as other EU members might follow suit.
Meanwhile, some EU officials are worried about policies of the new government in the United States, he pointed out.
Ted Malloch, Donald Trump’s expected ambassador to the EU, has expressed doubt over the future of EU establishment and the currency euro, as some EU member states prefer bilateral deals to common EU treaties with other countries, Gambardella said.
He said the strongest argument in favor of the EU is that the bloc can achieve results that individual countries cannot by themselves and the EU will have reform aimed at building a more efficient governance.
« Pointing fingers to external threats will not resolve the governance problem of the EU, » he said.
The EU and China should work for win-win cooperation deals between their respective companies, facilitate foreign inward investments and address red tape and other regulatory impediments, said Gambardella.
ChinaEU is a business-led association headquartered in Brussels that aims to strengthen joint research and business collaboration and investment in the sectors of the Internet, telecommunications and high-tech between China and Europe.