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Minister: China and EU should set good example on resisting protectionism
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16:19, May 11, 2009

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Currently the most important task is to translate the China-EU consensus on bilateral trade and investment into actions as soon as possible by keeping committed to two-way market openness and the multilateral Doha agenda, said Mr. Chen Deming, China's Commerce Minister.

China and the EU concluded their 2nd High-level Economic and Trade Dialogue in Brussels on May 8, a mechanism of the Chinese initiative at the 10th China-EU Summit in 2007. On January 30, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited Brussels on a 'trip of confidence". On both occasions the two sides pledged to jointly further facilitate trade and investment and contribute to the early conclusion of the WTO Doha trade talks.

"As the two major traders in the world, China and the EU should set a good example on opposing protectionism," said Chen.

He called for more communication to address each others concerns. While China has sent trade and investment missions to Europe as part of its efforts on easing the EU's concern on trade imbalance, China also hopes that the EU realizes the importance and urgency of China's concern on the EU's hi-tech export restriction to China and the issue of China's full market-economy status.

"We hope that the EU can push the issue forward more actively and practically under the established working groups" said Chen. He released that another Chinese business delegation would set out to Europe soon, following two such visits which resulted to 13.6 billion USD of contracts of buying European products in February and various possible investment cooperation in March.

He believes that there is great potential for cooperation between the two economies with advantages complementary to each other. In many fields, particularly in SMEs, energy efficiency and environmental protection, the two sides should expand their cooperation and create more business opportunities.

China-EU trade kept a high-speed growth of 19.5 percent in 2008 in spite of the global financial crisis and economic downturn. However, two-way trade has slowed down for six months in a row since November last year when the growth of China's total foreign trade declined for the first time in seven years.

The EU has been China's largest trading partner since 2004 after the enlargement of the EU to 25 members.

By People's Daily Online

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