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Trade row blocks EU-China climate statement: EU source
by Staff Writers
Brussels (AFP) June 2, 2017

The EU and China failed Friday to formally endorse a joint statement on the Paris climate deal due to a lingering but separate trade row, a European source said.

The EU source said leaders from both sides had no problem with on the climate issue as both sides want to boost efforts to implement the 2015 Paris agreement following President Donald Trump's decision to pull Washington out of the deal.

But "they did not sign (the climate statement) due to the fact they did not agree on market economy status," the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

When China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, it was written into the terms of the deal that member states could treat it as a non-market economy for 15 years.

The deadline passed late last year, but the European Union has nevertheless opted to preserve tough rules that protect it from cheap Chinese products flooding its markets.

Beijing has said previously that the refusal to grant China market economy status is an example of "covert protectionism" and "double standards" by the West.

In a joint draft summit statement AFP saw earlier this week, China and the US said they would "significantly intensify" their political, technical, economic and scientific cooperation on climate change and clean energy.

The goal is to help the world shift to an economy based on low greenhouse gas emissions, according to the draft.

France's Baccarat to be acquired by China investment fund
Paris (AFP) June 2, 2017 - Centuries-oldFrench crystal maker Baccarat said Friday it is being taken over by a Chinese investment fund in a deal that would allow it to accelerate its international expansion plans.

Baccarat said in a statement that China's Fortune Fountain Capital had signed a commitment to acquire a stake of 88.8 percent in the company from US investment funds Starwood Capital Group and L Catterton.

Under the agreement, FFC will pay 222.70 euros per share, valuing Baccarat at around 185 million euros ($207 million).

That is below the closing price of Baccarat shares on Thursday of 259.90 euros and the current market valuation of 215 million euros.

"If this transaction takes place, it would enable Baccarat to accelerate its strategic plans internationally, particularly in Asia and the Middle East, while supporting its growth in developed markets," Baccarat said.

Once the deal has been finalised, FFC plans to launch a public takeover offer for the remaining shares at the same price, but has no intention of delisting the shares from the Paris stock exchange, Baccarat continued.

Baccarat, founded in 1764, said that FFC had committed to make "significant" investments in its core areas of activity.

The new owners had also pledged to "maintain and centralise all production and employment and will honour the company's 250-year heritage," Baccarat said.

Its current chief Daniela Riccardi would remain at the helm.

The luxury maker of tableware, chandeliers and jewellery employs a workforce of around 500 and generated net profit of 2.2 million euros on sales of 148 million euros in 2016.

EU, China seek tighter bond to face Trump
Brussels (AFP) May 30, 2017
The EU and China will attempt to deepen ties at a summit Thursday amid rising worry about the direction taken by US President Donald Trump on trade and climate change. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will meet EU president Donald Tusk and European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker with hopes of forging an answer to Trump's "America First" challenge. But years of skirmishes over trade and hu ... read more

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