Author: the_bridge_tank

EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment: Stakes for a constructive balance of power

By Philippe Coste, Pierre-Noël Giraud, Stéphane Gompertz, Henri de Grossouvre, Fatima Hadj, Brice Lalonde, François Loos, François Quentin, Joël Ruet, Raphaël Schoentgen, Alex Wang, avec Clarisse Comte et Claire Thomas.

After seven years of negotiations, the European Union and China reached an investment agreement on December 30, 2020. While Beijing sees in it the promotion of a “high degree of openness”, the EU aspires through this treaty to establish the long sought after “equality of market conditions”.

To carry out this project, a balance between the strategic interests of each side and common objectives on which to agree remains to be found… just as it remains to find avenues for concrete action.

Find the analysis note in French :2021-03-Issue-Brief-UE-CHINETélécharger

• This treaty provides for the intensification of economic and trade relations between the EU and China. It guarantees EU investors greater access to China and also helps to create more balanced conditions of competition.

• Areas of collaboration are proposed here, in various fileds : political (place of China in international organizations, global governance), legal (international standards, ESG), industrial (mobility, decarbonisation, role of SMEs), economic, environmental, scientific , technological (energy transition, carbon capture, hydrogen, nuclear, new energies), financial (coordinated introduction of carbon prices) and cultural.

• For the EU, it is above all a matter of asserting its strategic interests in a coordinated manner with the member countries during the ratification process.

The long-term issues of technological sovereignty, of competition between blocs, all possible causes of “stop and go” in bilateral relations must be seriously dealt with.

Despite the identified obstacles, maintaining an open but precise dialogue between the EU and China is essential. The European Union must continue its transformation and ensure respect for its increase in diplomatic power both within the EU and in its relationship with China: beyond state-to-state relations, it is up to the EU in as a community to negotiate the terms of a new bilateral relationship with China. It is in this way that it will confirm its status as a “balancing power”.

The Organization for the Development of the Senegal River Basin (OMVS) will be a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize

On 12th March 2021, in Kayes, Mali, our Board Member Hamed Semega, announced the Senegal River basin organization (OMVS) will run for the Peace Nobel Prize. OMVS, an international organization under Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, today celebrates its 49th anniversary. Heading towards 50, and ahead of the upcoming Word Water Forum, the 4 states realize the OMVS has been a factor of peace, stability and development in the region. Just as IPCC got the Prize on climate change mitigation, we wish the OMVS will get the prize for huge climate adaptation efforts it does on top of peace.

Senegal: The political crisis shaking the country

3 of our Founding Board Members from Senegal were mobilized in the international and national media during the restlessness the country experienced; Aissata Tall-Sall Minister of Foreign Affairs, Elhaj Kasse Special Adviser to the President and Mamadou Lamine Diallo, member of the National Assembly and one of the leaders of the democratic opposition

Signing of the investment agreement between the EU and China

Ambassador Sylvie Bermann and our chairman Joel Ruet exchanged notes on Chinese TV on the EU-China investment agreement; noting that it not only concludes 7 years of negotiations but also of seeing on both sides the emergence of a different vision of the world. While many issues remain to be finetuned, ambassador Bermann recalled the agreement answers queries made by the EU and follow a European approach on the economy

Challenges and Options for the Economic & Ecological Transition of India

Joel Ruet exchanged with Dr. Anita Gupta from the Government of India and Dr Joumard form OECD during the conference organised by Avrist on Innovation in India.

He raised the following points:

•Ecological and Energy transitions are at least as bottom-up, actors driven, as they are top-down and state pushed.•Innovation cycles, including adoption and massificationplay a determining yet under-analysed, role in these.

•Transitions imply the long term creation of a whole ecosystem, to which several countries (China, Brazil, the EU or US…) show that upstream scientific programs and continuity are a determinig factor… India featuring midway.

•“Options” may be regained on this, though: 

e-market, e-health, moving the ladder on renewable energies, from frugal innovation to lesser inputs, circular economy, localised agriculture, joint financing of startups, joint financing of research and… AI on languages – not just R&D centres for the value chain, but innovation for India

Pranjal Sharma speaks during the Reboot Work Festival on the panel “AI, Automation & Future of work”

Pranjal Sharma, advisor at the Davos World Economic Forum and member of the Bridge Tank’s board, was one of the keynote panellists of the Reboot Work Festival on the 17th of December 2020. He intervened in the panel entitled “AI, Automation & Future of work”, alongside with Rajesh Kumar, Regional Head of Marketing at UiPath. He argued that a new “normal” would come along the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with new digital trends to help businesses to readapt and build resiliency.

5 years after the Paris Agreement: companies and levers for climate action in a world in crisis

The Society for Encouraging National Industry, founded in 1801 with the official support of Napoleon, organised a webinar entitled “5 years after the Paris Agreement: companies and levers for climate action in a world in crisis”. This event took place on the 16th of December 2020, for the COP21’s fifth anniversary.

During the plenary session, introduction speeches were made by Olivier Mousson, president of the Society for Encouraging National Industry, Sylvianne Villaudière, vice-president of the Society Jean-Pierre Cordier, president of the Society’s International Commission, and Joël Ruet. 

During his introduction of the “Finance and Climate, which leverage” panel, Joël Ruet argued that key factors in the success of the COP21 summit was the Moroccan commitment to convince African countries and the United Nations’ Group of 77 to sign the Paris Agreement. He highlighted the role of the support of Southern countries for this agreement, especially as it was supposed to support them in their ecological transition. Most of the investments that lead to global growth will soon mostly be directed at Southern countries, and we must ensure that these investments are sustainable and support agriculture, social measures and innovation (notably through technological know-how transfers). Financial products should be developed for middle-sized projects, as they already exist for small and large projects. Europe needs to follow and to be followed by the rest of the world if it wants to achieve its goal efficiently. It is also key that the European Union plays a role in the norms of the analysis of raw data. Southern countries must have access to the same kind of negative interest rates as the ones in the North to be able to develop fairly. 

Among the other keynote speakers were Bertrand Badré, former Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of the World Bank, Emmanuel Mourey, President of the Banque Postale Asset Management’s board, Christian Brodhag, Lecturer at Les Mines School (Saint-Etienne) and former inter-ministerial delegate for Sustainable Development, Anne Girault, Professor of the ABC Association, and Monica de Virgiliis, president of Chapter Zero France.

Meeting between Hakima El Haite, President of the Liberal International and Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara

Hakima El Haite, President of Liberal International and member of the Bridge Tank’s board, had a private audience with Alassane Ouattara, the Ivorian President, on the 15th of December 2020. This event took place aside from Alassane Ouattara’s re-election and investiture as president, after his campaign as the candidate of the Rally of Republicans. He is also the leader of this party. They exchanged about the activities of the Liberal International, as well as about the development perspectives of Côte d’Ivoire.

Liberal International is the world federation of liberal and progressive democratic political parties. Recently, it notably called for democracy and human rights to be respected in the Ugandan elections and called on the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women to condemn violence against Egyptian women human rights defenders.

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