European Institute for Asian Studies
Africa-EU-China: Avenues for a New Economic Partnership?
  • Start04:30 PM - Feb 04 2020
  • End06:00 PM - Feb 04 2020
  • Asia Platform, Rue de la Loi 26, 10th Floor, 1040 Brussels
  • +32 2 230 81 22
  • eias@eias.org

Keynote address by:

Mr Etienne GIROS, President, European Business Council for Africa (EBCAM)

Mr Angelos PANGRATIS, Adviser Hors Classe for EU Economic Diplomacy, European External Action Service (EEAS);

Panel Discussion with:

Mr Francisco MANTERO , Chair of Africa/Development Working Group, BusinessEurope;

 Ms Estelle YOUSSOUFFA, News Anchor, BFM TV, International Affairs Consultant;

Mr Richard TOUROUDE, Director of International Affairs, French Federation of Public Works

Introduction and moderation:

Dr Alexandros SPACHIS, Advisory Board Member, EIAS; Secretary General, EBCAM

Africa is today’s second fastest growing region in the world. The EU is its largest trade partner and investor, and is now looking to develop greater economic synergies with actors from the continent. The new European Commission is committed to scale up its business exchanges and trade partnerships with the region. The last two decades have also seen a growing presence of Chinese businesses in Africa. Not just state-led ventures, but also private Chinese enterprises have become increasingly engaged in trade and investment with many countries around the continent. China’s new role in Africa has not been overlooked by the other economic partners active in the region.

For this reason, since 2008, the EU has been working on the creation of a framework of trilateral Africa-EU-China cooperation encompassing several areas, from trade to security and development. The most recent evidence of this commitment was on July this year, when the 11th Round of China-EU Consultation on African Affairs was held in Beijing. But how to ensure that this new trilateral partnership adheres to the good practices, standards and regulations on which the rule-based multilateral system is built?

The European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS) and the European Business Council for Africa (EBCAM, a non-profit business organisation dedicated to the promotion of the private sector in Africa) cordially invite you to a Briefing Seminar addressing these issues on 4 February 2020 in Brussels. The event will shed light on the potential venues of cooperation and ways forward in trilateral Africa-EU-China economic cooperation.

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On the occasion of this event, EIAS published the briefing paper “Advancing EU-China-Africa trilateral partnerships: the role of joint business ventures in promoting sustainability, innovation and institutional synergies“.

African, European and Chinese interests are often portrayed as divergent – but what if business cooperation in sustainability and innovation could be the game changer? If you are curious about how trilateral business cooperation could play not just a pivotal role in EU-Africa relations, but also function as the foundation of Africa-EU-China interactions and institutional synergies, read the in-depth analysis by Junior Researcher Sara Bertucci and Margherita Locatelli, here

EBCAM also issued a position paper titled “European Companies and Chinese Companies in Africa: Adversaries or Partners? How Compliance can Lead to Unfair Competition”. After giving an overview of current EU-China relations and of European and Chinese companies’ practices on the African continent, EBCAM offers suggestions for the EU to promote fairer competition in African markets and support the continent’s development and integration into global trade. EBCAM’s position paper can be found here.


Africa is today’s second fastest growing region in the world. The EU is its largest trade partner and investor, and is now looking to develop greater economic synergies with actors from the continent. The new European Commission is committed to scale up its business exchanges and trade partnerships with the region. The last two decades have also seen a growing presence of Chinese businesses in Africa.

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European Institute for Asian Studies

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