BEIJING, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- The first round of negotiations for an investment agreement between China and the European Union (EU) started in Beijing on Tuesday, said Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang.
This round of negotiations will last for three days, Shen said.
An investment agreement between China and the EU will boost bilateral investment growth and can deepen their comprehensive strategic partnership, Shen said.
The two sides expect to provide a stable, transparent, predictable and open legal environment with the help of an investment agreement, Shen said.
The EU is China's largest trade partner with a trade volume of more than 500 billion U.S. dollars for three years running. China's trade with the EU edged up 2.1 percent year on year to 559.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2013, Chinese customs data showed.
An agreement to launch negotiations for an investment agreement was reached at the EU-China Summit of February 2012. In October 2013, the EU's member states gave the European Commission a negotiating mandate and the launch of negotiations was announced at the 16th EU-China Summit on Nov. 21, according to a press release on the EU website.