Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-05-22-Speech-2-521-000"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, as Ms de Sarnez has said, the world has undergone dramatic changes. I am constantly shocked to discover that in one of the large Member States of the European Union, for example in Germany, which has a population of 80 million, many citizens are still not aware of how important it is for the European Union to speak with one voice on foreign policy and foreign trade policy. The 1.3 billion people in China are totally uninterested in what even 80 million German people think about a specific subject. Therefore, I am very, very grateful that foreign trade policy is an area which the European Union is responsible for. I would like to give Ms de Sarnez my strong support for her statements on a number of critical points. The degree of access which our businesses have to the Chinese market is totally unacceptable in some areas and has nothing at all to do with how open our European market is to Chinese businesses. However, we expect the Chinese to also open up their markets. This applies in general to all products, but also to public procurement. When it comes to investment, I am particularly concerned that we are still in a situation where investment in certain areas is totally regulated by the state, that obstacles are being placed in the path of European companies and that mandatory technology transfers have been taking place for some years. Mr De Gucht, in all the discussions that the European Union and you yourself have had in recent years with the Chinese, you have hardly made any progress. For this reason, I would be very grateful if we could at last begin to move forwards in the forthcoming dialogue on an investment protection agreement. We need fair rules and equality. In recent weeks, I have fortunately encountered on several occasions Chinese investors who are investing in Europe. They can do this because our market is open and because it is also open to Chinese investment. I would be very pleased if, in the next few weeks, we could make progress on the issue of how European companies can do business on the Chinese market, how they can invest there and how they can purchase goods and materials there without having to hand over their technology."@en1

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