Following on from the signature in June 2017 of a Memorandum of Understanding between the European Commission and China, Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager and Chairman He Lifeng and Vice Chairman Hu Zucai, both of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, held the first cooperation meeting on State aid control and Fair Competition Review in Beijing on 16th November 2017.
In a press statement issued by the European Commission, Commissioner Vestager said:
“It is in our mutual interest to work together to promote fair global competition. Antitrust, merger review and State aid control are important tools in ensuring that consumers can benefit from competitive markets and companies can compete on their merits. Both the European Commission and the Chinese competition agencies will work closely together for a coherent and efficient competition enforcement.”
At the meeting, both the Commission and China’s National Development and Reform Commission reaffirmed the importance of cooperation on competition policy to ensure good economic relations between China and the EU. In particular, co-operation on State aid control is important to prevent public policies from distorting or restricting competition, or from harming an internal market.
Both sides acknowledged the mutual benefit of exchanging experiences on how to optimise and steer the use of State resources to promote efficient and sustainable economic development. In this context, the EU welcomed China’s adoption of a Fair Competition Review System designed to ensure State measures do not adversely affect market entry and exit and the free movement of goods.
As part of this new dialogue, the Commission also met at technical level the 28 ministries in charge of implementing the Fair Competition Review System in China. This cooperation between the EU and China will continue and both sides agreed to take stock of the dialogue at the next EU-China Summit in 2018.