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EU to probe China’s medical-devices practices
EU trade commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis (Pic: European Union)

24 Apr 2024 / eu Print

EU to probe China’s medical-devices practices

The European Commission has begun its first investigation under a mechanism designed to ensure a level playing field for EU companies tendering for business in countries around the world.

The commission said that the probe had been launched in response to measures and practices in the Chinese procurement market for medical devices.

The EU body argues that these measures discriminate unfairly against European companies and products.

Market ‘more closed’

The investigation is being carried out under the International Procurement Instrument (IPI), which came into force in 2022, with the aim of encouraging the reciprocal opening of public-procurement markets to EU economic operators.

The commission stated that its evidence indicated that China's procurement market for medical devices had gradually become more closed for European and foreign firms, as well as for products made in the EU.

It blames measures introduced by China that “unfairly differentiate” between local and foreign companies, and between locally produced and imported medical devices.

Discussions ‘fruitless’

“Regrettably, our repeated discussions with China on this trade irritant have been fruitless,” said Valdis Dombrovskis (commissioner for trade).

“We trust that this IPI investigation will galvanise our dialogue and help us find mutually agreeable solutions,” he concluded.

The EU body said that it would consider imposing IPI measures only if dialogue failed to deliver an agreement.

Under the IPI, the commission can adjust scores for bidders from the country concerned, lowering their chances to win bids for EU tenders, or exclude them completely from relevant tenders.

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