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Parliamentary question - E-004499/2021(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis on behalf of the European Commission

EU companies encounter difficulties in gaining access to procurement opportunities in the Chinese market, in particular in sectors where EU companies are highly competitive[1], and there is an imbalance in market openness. Access to China's public procurement market is restricted by laws, regulations and policies favouring domestic over foreign goods and services[2]. Moreover, there may be instances of discriminatory access to public procurement also for EU companies established in China. Although China is in the process of accession to the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) [3]it is not currently bound by any international commitment when conducting public procurement and has also not undertaken any bilateral public procurement commitments with the EU.

In contrast, the EU has opened a large part of its public procurement market to third countries, is a party to the GPA, and has concluded several trade agreements that contain strong commitments on the access to public procurement markets. In 2019, the Commission also issued a guidance on the participation of third country bidders and goods in the EU procurement market[4].

The Commission is not in a position to report on how many contracts EU companies are awarded in the Chinese market, as no transparent and comprehensive information is available in China regarding its procurement market. The Commission does not have exact figures of the volume of contracts awarded to Chinese companies for public procurement in the EU countries.

The EU actively pursues reciprocal opening of the procurement markets of third countries by negotiating trade agreements, supporting strong rules in the WTO and developing its own international procurement instrument.

Last updated: 2 December 2021
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