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China, Europe ‘can cooperate more’ amid rising U.S. trade tensions

China, Europe ‘can cooperate more’ amid rising U.S. trade tensions

US:Amid escalating trade tensions between China and the U.S., Chinese companies could potentially cooperate more with European nations like the Netherlands, which “promotes openness to trade and investment,” an official from the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) said on Tuesday at a press briefing in Beijing.

“The Netherlands has never restricted Chinese investment so far… In the future, China and the Netherlands can cooperate more in sectors like e-commerce, high-tech, life science and health,” as they both promote free trade, Roland Brouwer, NFIA’s executive director for China, told the Global Times at the press briefing, which marked the 40th anniversary of the agency’s operation.

In recent years, advanced economies like the U.S., members of the EU and Australia become top destinations for Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI), yet the U.S. now is increasingly imposing limits on Chinese investment. Given this situation, experts attending the ceremony said there’s also an opportunity for China and European countries to strengthen their economic ties.

“Compared with the U.S., European countries are a lot easier to negotiate with because they do not advocate hegemony and they also bear in mind that business is business,” Chu Yin, an associate professor at the University of International Relations, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Besides, European nations like the Netherlands also offer an “outstanding investment climate, supportive corporate tax structure, highly educated multilingual workforce and superior logistics and technology infrastructure,” which is attractive to Chinese investors, Brouwer added.

Fast-growing bilateral trade volume demonstrates the two countries’ cooperation potential.

In 2017, the total trade volume between China and the Netherland stood at $78.38 billion, recording a new high, according to China Customs.