South China's Guangdong province, a leader in China's economic boom, is exploring ways to further boost trade and cooperation with firms from the European Union.
Chen Kaizhi, chairman of the Guangzhou municipal committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said at the on-going EU-China trade fair that trade and investment cooperation between Guangzhou and EU has great potential.
According to Chen, a trade delegation from Guangzhou has just participated in a Guangdong-Hong Kong-Europe trade fair held in Britain recently. Companies from Guangzhou signed contracts for 10 projects with European firms, with the total investment topping 300 million US dollars. This includes 240 dollars of investment from foreign business people.
Europe is becoming an essential trade partner for China, with Sino-European trade surging greatly in recent years.
Statistics show that the trade volume between China and Europe hit 125.2 billion dollars last year, a record high. In the first quarter this year, bilateral trade reached 37.4 billion dollars, up 39.4 percent over the same 2003 period.
There is a long history of cooperation between Guangzhou and Europe, Chen acknowledged. In the early 1980s when China just adopted the policies of economic reform and opening up, the city began launching cooperation with the European countries in the fields of automobiles, mechanism and electronics.
As the cooperation between both sides progressed smoothly in recent years, Guangzhou is sure to take more opportunities in the future to further expand trade with European nations, boosting the city's economic development, Chen said.