China and EU reached the wine deal
The agreement will provide the basis for technical cooperation and exchanges planned for the next two years.
EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Çioloş said: "I welcome the amicable solution which has been found by the two industries. My expectation is that the question mark hanging over EU wine exports as a result of the Chinese investigation is now clearly resolved and this is very good news.
"We have been strengthening collaboration and cooperation with China in the agricultural sector over the past four years and I am committed to taking this further, because the scope to bring benefits to farmers and consumers in China and Europe is very clear. I now look forward to working with my counterparts in the Chinese Government to build on this outcome."
EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht stated: "I applaud the fact that the Chinese wine industry will withdraw its application for anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures. I expect that the case will now be formally terminated so that the EU wine industry can continue to export its quality products to China in a fair and competitive environment.
"After the recent agreement reached in the polysilicon case, this is yet another positive development which will further strengthen the EU-China bilateral relationship."
On July 1, 2013 the Chinese authorities (MOFCOM) initiated an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into European wine exports to China. Extensive replies to requests for information for the dumping and subsidy investigations under the WTO framework were prepared by the European Commission and the EU industry, and were submitted to China in the second half of 2013.
The Commission has consistently defended the view that the case is unfounded and that there was no injury suffered by the Chinese wine producers which could be linked to the European wine imports into China. The Commission is also convinced that any aids given to the EU wine sector are fully WTO compatible.
In parallel to the investigation, a "Business to Business" (B2B) dialogue between the European wine industry (represented by the European Committee of Wine Companies (CEEV)) and the Chinese wine industry (represented by the Chinese Alcohol Drinks Association (CADA)) was initiated in November 2013 in Beijing.
This B2B dialogue process was encouraged and supported by the Commission and the Chinese government. However, the Commission has not been directly involved in the negotiations of the content of this agreement.
The Memorandum of Understanding reached between CEEV and CADA during this dialogue consists of a commitment by the Chinese industry to withdraw its Anti-subsidy and Anti-dumping complaint against EU wine imports, and the agreement on technical assistance and cooperation activities between both parties for an initial period of 2 years.
Upon the withdrawal of the complaint and the subsequent termination of the investigation by the Chinese authorities, the EU wine industry will provide a number of technical assistance packages to the Chinese side in areas such as of winegrowing – experimental vineyards and mechanization techniques - winemaking and quality controls, marketing approaches, wine tastings, and the Geographical Indications protection system.
This assistance will be provided through activities such as hosting study visits in Europe, seminars, and other training and internship activities. The Chinese wine industry will assist the EU industry to organize EU wine tastings in China, to improve the wine knowledge among the Chinese consumers, and promote the appreciation of wines and its culture.
Both parties will set up permanent information and communication exchanges, monitor the implementation of their cooperation, and collaborate at international level on advocacy activities aimed on improving market access conditions in third countries.
In the past 6 years (2007-2012) the Chinese wine market has experienced very significant growth. EU wine exports to China amounted to 764 million € in 2012 (71% / 546m€ from France; Spain (11.7%, 89m€); Italy (10.1%, 77m€) – out of overall wine exports of 8.865 billon € (8.6%). ■