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China-EU Investment Treaty, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin

China-EU Investment Treaty: Towards a China-EU Investment Agreement: Challenges, Themes and Competences

Date: Friday, 5th December 2014
Time: 9:00 am - 5:30 pm

The Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin


Since September 2012 there has been active discussion between the EU and China on the conclusion of an investment agreement. This reflects in part the change in the investment relationship between Europe and China: Foreign Direct Investment now not only flows from Europe to China but increasingly, and particularly in recent years, from China to Europe. Under the Treaty of Lisbon, the EU has been granted the competence to engage in this type of negotiation and treaty conclusion, having previously been an exclusive national competence. This is the next stage of EU-China relations and marks a significant development of legal, political, economic and financial significance.

Less than 2% of total foreign direct investment into the EU currently comes from China. EU investment in China, compared to that of the United States for example, is low, and tends to come, in large part, from a small number of countries' companies. Whereas there are in excess of 1,000 bilateral investment agreements between EU Member States and third countries, there is no EU-China investment agreement. There are many bilateral EU-China investment agreements with Member States, although not with all the Member States, at present. The commencement of negotiations on an investment treaty between China and the EU marks something of a broadening of focus by the EU, which has been concluding so-called "deep and comprehensive free trade agreements" with the Mediterranean rim countries and the Caucasus.

It is envisaged that this symposium will bring to the fore common themes and concerns and, most importantly, a commonality of interest in policies in legal structures. Chinese concerns about EU direct investment in China and their own investment in Europe may cover similar territory to European concerns about Chinese direct investment in Europe and their own investment in China.

Furthermore, for investment treaties to be meaningful, the rule of law must be strengthened and many commentators remark that this is one of the main next stages for China's economic expansion.

In this symposium Trinity will host EU and Chinese Representatives who are actively involved in the negotiation of the comprehensive EU-China Investment Agreement, along with academic and industry experts on Foreign Direct Investment. This will be one of the first public discussions on the negotiation process of the future treaty on EU-China Investment and its potential impact on trade and foreign direct investment in Europe, China and Ireland.

The keynote address is to be delivered by H.E. Mr David O'Sullivan, Ambassador of the EU to the USA. Mr O'Sullivan has extensive experience in negotiation of key EU bilateral trade and investment treaties.

This symposium is generously funded by the EU and PRC sponsored China Europe Law School (CESL), of which Trinity College Dublin's School of Law and colleagues from the Schools of Business and Political Science have been training Chinese lawyers in private and public law by teaching in the graduate CESL programme in Beijing.



08:50 - 09:20 Registration
09:20 - 09:45

Opening remarks and Introduction

Introduction by Prof Louis Brennan and Prof Diarmuid Rossa Phelan

Counsellor Wu Lijun, Charge d’affaires, Embassy of P.R. China to Ireland

09:45 - 10:30

Keynote Address

H.E. Mr David O'Sullivan, EU Ambassador to the US

10:30 - 10:35 Dr Juliette Hussey, Vice Provost for Global Relations, Trinity College, Dublin
10:35 - 10:55 Tea/Coffee
10:55 - 12:15

Panel Discussion: The business context of China-EU bilateral investment

Chair: Prof Louis Brennan, Trinity College, Dublin

12:15 - 13:25

Panel Discussion: Negotiating bilateral success

Chair: Prof Diarmuid Rossa Phelan, S.C., Trinity College, Dublin

13:35 - 14:15 Networking Lunch
14:14 - 15:35

Panel Discussion: The legal context of China-EU bilateral investment

Chair: Prof Hinrich Julius, University of Hamburg

15:35 - 15:55 Refreshments
15:55 - 17:15

Roundtable Discussion: Practitioner Perspectives

Chair: Nick McIlroy, ESSCA Shanghai; McIlroy Wang Ltd.

17:15 - 17:30 Concluding remarks




Symposium Closes


The right to substitute and rearrange lecture(r)s is reserved.

Chairs, Speakers and Guests*

Keynote Speaker

H.E. David O'Sullivan EU Ambassador to the US

Panellists/Session Chairs

Prof Bjoern Ahl
Associate Professor of Chinese Legal Culture Institute of East Asian Studies, University of Cologne

Prof Louis Brennan
Professor in Business Studies, Trinity College Dublin and formerly Director Institute for International Integration Studies, Trinity College Dublin

Mr Christopher Brown
Associate Director, China Desk- KPMG Ireland

Ms Alexandra Koutoglidou
Investment negotiator, European Commission, DG Trade, Investment Unit

Prof Jeremy Clegg
Director of the Centre for International Business, Leeds University Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration and International Business Management

Mr Alan Dukes
Chairman, Asia Matters; former Minister of Finance in Ireland

Mr Joshua Fellenbaum
Senior Associate, Clyde & Co, London

Dr Juliette Hussey
Vice Provost for Global Relations, Trinity College, Dublin

Prof Hinrich Julius
Chair of Rights, School of law, Hamburg University

Ms Hannah Levinger
Economist, Deutsche bank; co-author of China-EU relations: Gearing up for growth • Mr Nick McIlroy Visiting Professor, ESSCA Shanghai; Director McIlroy Wang Ltd.

Mr Shane Nolan
Head of Emerging Markets, IDA Ireland

Prof Diarmuid Rossa Phelan, Senior Counsel
Fellow, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin Director, TCD participation in China-Europe Law School

Mr XIE Wei Second
Secretary, Economic & Commercial Counsellor’s Office, P.R. China Mission to EU Distinguished Guests

Distinguished Guests

Counsellor WU Lijun
Political Counsellor, Charge d’affaires, Embassy of P.R. China to Ireland

Representatives from IDA, EI and other Irish state agencies


* please note this list is subject to change.


This event is free to attend however booking is advisable.

To book a place contact: Nick McIlroy