BRUSSELS– The European Union (EU) and China are set to agree on Wednesday on an investment deal that will give European companies greater access to Chinese markets.
The agreement has been six years in the making and forms part of the EU’s new relationship with China, which the bloc views as a partner but also as a systemic rival.
Negotiations, which began in 2014, accelerated this year and are set to conclude with a political sign-off during an online meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and European Council chief Charles Michel on Wednesday.
Xi was also due to speak separately with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.
The EU-China agreement, which is likely to take over a year to enter into force, will allow EU firms to invest in new sectors and remove some joint-venture requirements.
China is banning forced transfer of technology from foreign companies and has pledged to be more transparent on subsidies and bar state-owned enterprises from discriminating against foreign investors.