Category: China-India-Africa

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

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.

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.

OMVS presents a check for 200 million CFA francs for the 9th World Water Forum

Hamed Semega, member of the Bridge Tank’s board and High Commissioner to Sub-Regional Organisation for the Senegal River Basin Development Authority (Organisation de Mise en Valeur du Fleuve Senegal, OMVS), handed the organisers of the 9th World Water Forum (which will take place in 2022) a 200 million CFA francs check from the OMVS.

The official ceremony to welcome this financial support took place on the 11th of December 2020 in Dakar. During this event, an agreement of partnership was also signed between the OMVS and the forum’s executive secretariat to ensure cooperation between these two entities in 2021. In this agreement, the OMVS committed to support mobilisation of resources necessary to the organisation of workshops and other projects integrated to the Dakar 2021 initiative

Democracies, Governances, Rules of law in Africa, which perspectives?

Alain Dupouy, president of the Objective Future Africa Club (O2A) think tank and Alain Juppé’s former advisor for Africa, hosted a workshop which gathered political actors and activists from West African countries, notably Guinea, Tchad, Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Benin. This discussion was following the theme “Democracies, Governances, Rules of law in Africa, which perspectives?”. It took place on the 26th of November 2020. 

Among the keynote speakers were Cellou Dalein Diallo, President of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea and former Guinean Prime Minister, Succès Masra, President of the Chadian Transformers Party, Abdoul Aziz Mbaye, former chief of staff for the Senegalese President Macky Sall, Alain Juillet, former head of the French General Directorate for External Security, Joël Ruet, President of The Bridge Tank, Laurent Bigot, former French diplomat, and Reckya Madougou, former Beninese Minister of Justice. 

The points that were made during these exchanges were that democracy was perfectly compatible with Africa, as long as criteria of social justice and wealth redistribution were met. The international community also has to encourage dynamism for the private economic sector to help the professional development of the African youth. Africa’s future must be decided in Africa to ensure its longevity.

RCEP agreement and India

Pranjal Sharma, member of the Bridge Tank’s board, wrote a paper for The Daily Guardian entitled “RCEP and India: Between the lines” on the 21st of November 2020. The RCEP is a multilateral trade agreement between Asian countries, started by China during the 2011 ASEAN meeting. China intends on using this agreement, which creates a coalition of trade partners, to counter the American and European influences in the global economy.

In this paper, Pranjal Sharma argued that India did not sign this agreement as it has been sceptical of regional trade agreements involving China, especially considering that Chinese cheap exportations have seriously affected many sectors in many countries, such as Indian engineered products. Joining such a trade agreement could harm Indian domestic producers even further. The Indian decision to remain out of the RCEP therefore is the country’s chance to develop its own manufacturing competitiveness, which could lead to India’s emergence as China’s new global rival.

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