China and the European Union are close to an investment deal, that could be reached by the end of the year, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Sunday in Paris.
“We have the possibility to conclude one by the end of the year. We each need to take a step towards the other,” the minister told a conference organised by the French Institute for International Relations (IFRI).
Chinese and European experts have been working for seven years on a deal to protect foreign investments, reinforce respect for intellectual copyrights, end obligations to transfer technology and subsidies for Chinese public enterprises.
Wang is visiting European capitals to reinforce ties as relations with the US remain tense. He said Europe and China had a responsibility to work for “a more stable world” that would benefit from an agreement that has been in the works for several years.
In June, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said that work on an agreement with the European Union had become “difficult” and warned: “We need more ambition on China’s part to wrap up an agreement by the end of the year.”