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European suppliers’ association UNIFE reiterated its call for ‘a real level playing field’ and ‘fair conditions’ for both European and Chinese manufacturers on September 2. It said this should include specific rules excluding non-European state-owned enterprises from EU procurement in the absence of reciprocal market access.
The call came a week after the announcement that Chinese rolling stock conglomerate CRRC was to acquire Vossloh’s locomotive manufacturing business. In UNIFE’s view, this deal confirmed ‘China’s strategy to enter and conquer the European rail market.’
The association has called on the European Commission to publish a report this year identifying how ‘to fully address the distortive effects of foreign state ownership and state financing in the internal market’.
UNIFE welcomed the Commission’s adoption in July of guidance indicating that Chinese economic operators could be excluded from EU tenders in the absence of binding agreements on reciprocal market opening. However, it emphasised that ‘it is of utmost importance for the Commission and the member states to make sure that contracting authorities are aware of and apply these rules’.
The association also called on the European Council and Parliament to finalise an international procurement instrument which it believes would open new market opportunities for European suppliers.
This article first appeared on www.railwaygazette.com
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