BRUSSELS, April 9 (Xinhua) -- China and the European Union (EU) aim to conclude a comprehensive bilateral investment agreement in 2020, according to a joint statement issued by the two sides here on Tuesday.
China and the EU commit to achieve in the course of 2019 the decisive progress required, notably with regard to the liberalization commitments, for the conclusion of an ambitious China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement in 2020, said the statement.
The high level of ambition, the statement added, will be reflected in substantially improved market access, the elimination of discriminatory requirements and practices affecting foreign investors, the establishment of a balanced investment protection framework and the inclusion of provisions on investment and sustainable development.
The statement came after the 21st China-EU leaders' meeting, which was co-chaired by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
In the statement, both sides also pledged to build their economic relationship on openness, non-discrimination, and fair competition, ensuring a level playing field, transparency, and based on mutual benefits.
"China and the EU commit to ensure equitable and mutually beneficial cooperation in bilateral trade and investment," the statement said, reiterating the two sides' willingness to enhance bilateral economic cooperation, trade and investment, and to provide each other with broader and more facilitated, non-discriminatory market access.
"With this in mind, China and the EU will intensify work towards finding mutually agreeable solutions to a number of key barriers as identified by both parties," the statement said.