日内瓦Mind Matters基金会首席执行官罗特·科佩尔（Rotem Kopel）女士介绍了可能会对国际贸易产生重大影响的试点项目，该项目由基金会与世界经济论坛和德勤公司合作完成。项目涉及心理健康领域，这一问题已经成为新冠肺炎大流行期间的一个焦点。该项目是解决国际贸易相关问题的典范，兼具社会和公共卫生效益。
SCLA Successfully Hold the 15th Global Forum- EU-ChinaInvestment Forum
On Friday, March 26, 2021, the SCLA held ist 15th Global Forum, this time on the topic oft he EU-China Comprehensive Agreement of Investment of December 30,2020 (CAI), and ist impact on economic factors and technology.
After an overview of SCLA’s activities by Mr. Tianze Zhang Mr. Xiaobing Tang who has had a lifelong professional involvement in international trade, particularly with the WTO gave an overview over CAI. It not yet completed as provisions regarding investor protection and dispute resolution are still missing and will be negotiated over the next years. Mr. Tang described CAI as a most ambitious deal. It addresses the fear of subsidies being granted to Chinese state-owned companies. By eliminating pre-existing investment restrictions it opens the vast market in China for European companies. It goes beyond the commitments deriving from the international multilateral trade agreements. The CAI fits in with the recent EU Trade Policy Review which addresses the position of the EU in the triangle with the US and China as other large trading blocs.
In terms of dispute resolution the EU seems to give priority to the WTO-based settlement procedures.
The next speaker, Thomas Pauken, a commentator living for many years in China, analyzued CAI from the prespective of economic policy of all stakeholders involved. He concluded that CAI is a gam-changer in the world of trade and can be considered a win-win situation for both parties. CAI will hel reduce the considerable trade surplus between China and the EU. It will provide better access in China to coveted European goods. A higher valuation oft he Chinese currency will result in more foreign investment from China into Europe. Mr. Pauken also discussed the position of the US, whether it will accept CAI.
Professor Lourdes Casanove, Director oft he Emerging Markets Institute at Cornell University, then gave a unique insight into the economic impact of CAI. China has excelled offering products at the cheapest prices maintaining a high level of innovation. Only one one oft he five largest brands for smartphones is from the US. In terms of foreign investment, China has preferred greenfield investments, while the US put emphasis on acquiring businesses, particularly in Europe. The trade between China and the US has decreased significantly. Huawei, while it has no sales in the US, has increased its worldwide footprint.
The next speaker at the Forum was Mrs. Rotem Kopel, CEO of Geneva-based MInd Matters Foundation, in Geneva who presented a pilot project related with a potentially big impcat on international trade. It has been realized together with the World Economic Forum and Deloitte. It relates to mental health, a subject which has become a focal point during the pandemic. The project is a great example of addressing issues in international trade which have a social and health-related benefit.
After these most interesting presentations two panels were organized, one on the role of technology in CAI, and the other one on dispute resolution. The technology panel was chaired by Mr. Nicolas Babin, former CEO of Sony Europe. All panelists had a fantastic professional background in technology, includin legal tech and contributed their experiences. It was emphasized that technology enhances trade and serves those involved in business. There is no reason to be afraid of technology as scrapping jobs.
The second panel addressed methods for dispute resolution, the unresolved issue in the CAI. The discussion was chaired by Mrs. Ana Jaimes, an experienced arbitration lawyer from Mexico having been inovlved in important investor-state disputes. The panel members represented the different geographical araes oft he world. The methods of consultation, mediation and arbitration being applied in investor-state disputes were discussed. Ways to avoid a trade dispute escalating into a contentious procedures made up the central point of the discussion with the role of mediation being the most strongly emphasized aspect.
The lively panel discussions were concluded by remarks by Hermann Knott from Cologne, Germany, chief reporter oft he Forum, summarizing the results oft he Forum and Mr. Tianze Zhang who had brought together such an excellent group of experts.
More than 60 representatives from over 20 countries were invited to register for the forum.