China "open" to TTIP if it's transparent

BEIJING - China "takes an open attitude" towards the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a trade deal being negotiated between the European Union and the United States, so long as it is "open and transparent", a Chinese official said Wednesday (Feb 17).

Ministry of Commerce (MOC)spokesman, Mr Shen Danyang, said at a press conference in Beijing, Xinhua news agency reported. China, he said, has been paying attention to TTIP negotiations, and Beijing takes an open attitude toward any free trade agreement on global trade liberalisation and regional economic integration so long as it sticks to the principle of openness and transparency, Mr Shen told reporters.

"China holds that free trade deals in all regions and of all types should be transparent, open and inclusive, and be conducive to promoting the well-being of people all over the world. This is also applicable to our attitude towards the TTIP," Mr Shen added.

The EU and the United States, accounting for 47 per cent of global economy, 28 per cent of international trade and 53 per cent of foreign investment, have conducted 11 rounds of TTIP negotiations covering fields including market access, the service sector, investment and intellectual property rights.

"We noticed that the two sides still have differences in a number of areas such as goods trade, service trade, investment and regulatory compatibility. Therefore, it is just something natural for the sides to speed up negotiations for substantial progress," Mr Shen stated.