Indeed, the products mentioned in this agreement must be identified by their particular characteristics, associated with their geographical origin and traditional know-how. In 2016, the two sides agreed on the scope of the future agreement. They agreed that it would go beyond a traditional investment protection agreement covering market access for investments and a number of important disciplines. It would also include provisions on sustainable development and dispute resolution. Dr Jessica Lawrence, Senior Lecturer at the University of Essex School of Law and expert on international trade and investment agreements and its co-author The GI Agreement, first concluded in November 2019 and effective from 2021, marks an important milestone in EU-China trade cooperation, as it will bring reciprocal trade benefits and guaranteed consumers into force. , quality products on both sides. This bilateral agreement is expected to give an additional boost to trade relations between the EU and China, particularly in the food and beverage market, which accounts for a significant share of EU products sold on the Chinese market each year. Indeed, in 2019, China was the third largest destination for agri-food products in the EU, with 14.5 billion euros ($17.022 billion). In the same year, China was also the second preferred destination for EU exports, identified by its GI specifications, including wines, agri-food products and spirits. Germany has a very strong focus on the investment contract with China. This will be part of Merkel`s political legacy and will serve as the basis for a free trade agreement in the future.
This point seems very distant indeed. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the bloc was „really serious“ with better access to the Chinese market and said: „China needs to convince us that it is worth having an investment agreement.“ The EU and China began negotiations on the IAC in 2014. The European Commission carried out an impact assessment in 2013. Between 2015 and 2018, an impact study on sustainable development was carried out to assess the potential economic, social and environmental impact of the agreement. The EU is China`s largest trading partner and China is the EU`s second largest trading partner (with more than one billion euros traded per day). Although there are still many restrictions on market access for trade in goods, it is mainly services and investment that are two sectors with high untapped potential in EU-China trade (only 2% of EU investment (FDI) goes to China, while 30% of them go to the US). In order to increase investment potential, the EU and China began negotiations for a „Comprehensive Investment Agreement“ (IAC) in early 2014.