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Home >> China
UPDATED: 08:59, February 01, 2007
China, Portugal seek closer ties amid spiraling trade
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China and Portugal on Wednesday pledged to further their trade ties and seek cooperation in more areas as Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates pays his first China visit since taking office.

"Since the two countries established all-around strategic partnership in 2005, China and Portugal have deepened their political trust and witnessed rapid trade development," said Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao while hosting talks with Socrates.

Wen proposed the two countries improve their trade structure and encourage mutual investment, and increase exchanges in culture, education and science and technology.

Trade between China and Portugal surged to 1.7 billion U.S. dollars last year, up 39 percent year-on-year.

In a visit to Portugal in 2005, Wen expressed the hope that bilateral trade volume could double in three years. He said on Wednesday the goal is expected to be achieved ahead of time.

The two countries also signed eight agreements covering areas such as trade, jurisdiction, education and science and technology after the two leaders' one-hour talks.

On relations between China and European Union, Wen said China will work closely with Portugal in order to finalize the Partnership Cooperation Agreement (PCA), talks of which was officially launched on Jan. 17.

Portugal will assume the rotating presidency of the EU in the second half of 2007.

Wen said he hoped China and the EU "will enhance strategic dialog, properly handle each other's concern and expand pragmatic cooperation in various fields."

Source: Xinhua

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