WhatsApp Logo Subscribe
For News Alert

News

EU opens probe into China's medical device market

By AFP

April 24, 2024 05:22 PM


Twitter Share Facebook Share WhatsApp Share

The European Union on Wednesday announced a probe into China's medical devices market, prompting an immediate accusation from Beijing that the bloc was engaging in "protectionism".

Brussels suspects China is favouring its own suppliers for  the procurement of medical devices. The EU's official administrative journal, announcing the probe, set out ways that could be happening, including through a "Buy China" policy.

The EU also has concerns that China may have restricted imports and imposed conditions "leading to abnormally low bids that cannot be sustained by profit-oriented companies," the notice in the journal said.

In response, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said the investigation would "damage the EU's image".

"All the outside world sees is it (the EU) gradually moving towards protectionism," said the spokesman, Wang Wenbin, calling on Brussels to "stop using any excuse to groundlessly suppress and restrict Chinese business".

China's medical devices market is the second largest after the United States, worth around 135 billion euros in 2022 ($145 billion), according to a 2023 report by China-focused think tank MERICS.

The EU probe is the first under the bloc's International Procurement Instrument which seeks to promote reciprocity in access to international public procurement markets.

"The... restrictive measures and practices put at a significant and systemic disadvantage (European) Union economic operators, goods and services as they systematically favour the procurement of domestic products to the detriment of imported ones," the official journal said.

If the investigation finds unfair behaviour by China, the EU can limit Chinese companies' access to the 27-nation bloc's public procurement market.

The journal said the investigation would conclude within nine months, although the European Commission can extend this by five months.

Beijing is "invited to submit its views and to provide relevant information" and can hold consultations with the European Commission -- the EU's trade authority -- "to eliminate or remedy the alleged measures and practices," the text said.

Brussels wanted to "achieve a level playing field in our procurement markets for producers of medical devices, on both sides," EU trade commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said.

"Regrettably, our repeated discussions with China on this trade irritant have been fruitless," he added.

 - Slew of probes -

 

The EU has launched a wave of investigations targeting China over the past few months, particularly into green tech subsidies.

The EU provoked Beijing's ire in April after announcing an investigation into Chinese wind turbine suppliers.

Other probes have focused on Chinese subsidies for solar panels, electric cars and trains as Brussels seeks to move away from reliance on cheaper Chinese technology.

On Tuesday, the commission announced surprise raids on the EU offices of an unidentified company that makes and sells "security equipment" as part of a probe into foreign subsidies.

The Chinese chamber of commerce in the EU denounced the raids in the Netherlands and Poland against a Chinese company.

The EU has also adopted laws that often have China in their sights.

The European Parliament on Tuesday approved a ban on products made using forced labour. Supporters hope it will be used to block goods from China's Xinjiang region where the Uyghur Muslim minority is said to endure many rights abuses.

The latest investigation was announced after German authorities arrested an aide to a far-right German MEP, Maximilian Krah, on suspicion of spying for China.


AFP


Most Read

  1. Hania Aamir and Zaviyar Nauman's Nikkah glam gives ‘heart attack’ to many Hania Aamir and Zaviyar Nauman's Nikkah glam gives ‘heart attack’ to many
  2. Guard shoots dead his employer in Lahore’s Ghalib Market Guard shoots dead his employer in Lahore’s Ghalib Market
  3. Ex-CJP Saqib Nisar uses influence for grandson at Aitchison College Ex-CJP Saqib Nisar uses influence for grandson at Aitchison College
  4. Bomb blast kills two labourers in Kot Addu scrap godown Bomb blast kills two labourers in Kot Addu scrap godown
  5. Woman hit by car in Lahore's Askari XI breathes her last Woman hit by car in Lahore's Askari XI breathes her last
  6. Abdu Rozik postpones his wedding with Amira, for what reason? Abdu Rozik postpones his wedding with Amira, for what reason?

Opinion

  1. An Unmissable Opportunity: The Time for Modi and Islamabad leadership to Resume Bilateral Dialogue is Now!
    An Unmissable Opportunity: The Time for Modi and Islamabad leadership to Resume Bilateral Dialogue is Now!

    By Sudheendra Kulkarni

  2. Premier Shehbaz and Chinese model
    Premier Shehbaz and Chinese model

    By Naveed Aman Khan

  3. Modi's myth broken, yet in power
    Modi's myth broken, yet in power

    By Naveed Aman Khan

  4. Xi, Shehbaz and CPEC phase - 2
    Xi, Shehbaz and CPEC phase - 2

    By Naveed Aman Khan

  5. Pakistan's UNSC Triumph: A New Era
    Pakistan's UNSC Triumph: A New Era

    By Dr Asif Channer

  6. Shehbaz, Deng, Xi and transformation
    Shehbaz, Deng, Xi and transformation

    By Naveed Aman Khan