John Grayston led a session on EU China Free Trade Agreement with Darrel Pearson of Bennett Jones (Toronto).
The session looked forward at the start of the EU China FTA negotiating process and compared the potential for EU China with the outcomes of the EU Canada (CETA) agreement – completed over essentially a 10 year period of negotiation but still awaiting ratification.
James Lockett of Huawei noted in his intervention that the challenge for EU negotiators would be take account of the moving target that China still poses as a rapidly growing and developing economy.
Indeed if we think of a 15 year time frame to conclude EU China (in view of CETA and TTIP a realistic figure) - then cast your mind back and compare the China of today with China in 2000. It would seem foolish to imagine that a similar level of change will not also take place over the coming 15 years. Thus any deal structured today will need to stand the test of time even before it enters into force.