Wednesday 18 September 2019

EU rules to block some Chinese investments

 

Concerns are mounting across the western world about national-security risks tied to foreign investment, particularly by China. Photo: Getty Images/Bloomberg Creative
Concerns are mounting across the western world about national-security risks tied to foreign investment, particularly by China. Photo: Getty Images/Bloomberg Creative

Jonathan Stearns

The EU is hammering out the first bloc-wide rules to prevent foreign investments from threatening national security, as Chinese acquisitions foster political unease.

Negotiators representing EU governments and the European Parliament may agree on draft legislation to enable the screening of foreign direct investments tomorrow, according to Franck Proust, a French MEP.

"Everybody has the common will to work in the same direction," Mr Proust told reporters.

Concerns are mounting across the western world about national-security risks tied to foreign investment, particularly by China.

Last year, US President Donald Trump blocked a Chinese-backed investor from buying Lattice Semiconductor Corporation as a result of national-security worries, and Germany moved to shield cutting-edge technologies after a bid by China's Midea Group for robot maker Kuka prompted an outcry.

Earlier this year, the German government stopped a Chinese bid for the first time by vetoing the potential purchase of machine-tool manufacturer Leifeld Metal Spinning.

The goal of the proposed European investment-screening framework is to limit foreign threats to "critical infrastructure", including in the energy, transport, communications, data, space and financial industries, and to "critical technologies" such as semiconductors, robotics and artificial intelligence. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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