Episode 21: EU Tour and the Future of EU-China Relations

EU Tour and the Future of EU-China Relations

After an enforced break of nearly three years, the European Chamber’s European Tour took place in-person from 9th to 13th January, to present the Chamber’s messaging to key European stakeholders, including officials from the European Commission and the European Parliament, and representatives from industry associations and think tanks. The Chamber delegation participated in a total of 48 meetings and events in Brussels, 26 of which were with high-level officials, with smaller delegations holding additional meetings in Paris, Berlin and Copenhagen afterwards.

In this episode, our host Ester Cañada Amela, advocacy manager for the EU SME Centre and senior business manager for European affairs at the European Chamber, sat down with three delegates of the tour – Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Chamber, and vice presidents Jens Eskelund, Massimo Bagnasco and Carlo D’Andrea. They discussed their experiences and some of the key outcomes of the tour, as well as their expectations on the future of EU-China relations.

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What to listen for:

01:31 What exactly is the EU tour and why does the European Chamber organise it?

03:19 In terms of the overall understanding and attitude of EU officials towards China and its business environment, what has changed between this visit and last one in February 2020?

05:28 Key messaging that the Chamber delegation delivered to EU authorities this year.

07:03 What were some of the pain points for SMEs raised in meetings with EU counterparts?

11:28 What are some of the more encouraging messages received from EU authorities?

15:40 Which misunderstanding about China and its business environment do you find most concerning?

19:36 Based on the conversations with EU counterparts, is there any possibility of resurrecting the CAI?

22:51 What were some of the takeaways from the meeting with the Chinese Ambassador to the EU Fu Cong?

24:48 What are the some of the key takeaways from the visits to Paris, Berlin and Copenhagen?

29:37 Expectations on the future of EU-China relations in the coming years.

35:09 Who is eligible to join the EU Tour, and what are some of the key responsibilities assumed by delegates?


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