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German, Chinese ministers condemn protectionism
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08:03, February 26, 2009

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German Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming on Wednesday condemned protectionism, saying that opening markets is the proper approach to addressing the global economic crisis.

The two ministers spoke at a German-Chinese business forum in Berlin. A Chinese procurement team, led by Chen, attended the forum.

Guttenberg said that the procurement deals, to be signed between Chinese and German companies, would help boost bilateral trade.

In 2008, trade volume between Germany and China hit 115 billion U.S. dollars, up 22. 2 percent over the previous year.

Recently, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have expressed willingness to maintain trade volume this year.

"The contracts signed today would help achieve the goal," Guttenberg said.

He said protectionism is a "wrong answer" to the current global financial crisis. Germany and China should join hands to facilitate the Doha round.

Chen also warned of the hazards of protectionism.

He said protectionism could not guard world trade from declining and instead, opening markets is the right way.

Chen noted that China's move to send a procurement team to Europe is a signal that his country would firmly open up its markets to the world.

Source: Xinhua

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