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Solar panel makers call for efforts to counter EU investigations


08:07, August 15, 2012

BEIJING, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- China's major solar panel manufacturers have called for united efforts by government, industry and enterprises to cope with European Union (EU)'s anti-dumping investigations.

The Ministry of Commerce summoned the country's leading solar companies -- Yingli, Suntech, Trina and Canadian Solarto to Beijing to discuss a solution to the investigations, according to the Economic Information quoting unnamed sources.

The four companies delivered a report to the ministry calling on the government, industry and enterprises to work together and formulate necessary countermeasures against the EU dumping allegations.

Germany's SolarWorld and other European solar panel makers last month filed a complaint seeking import tariffs on Chinese-made solar products. There would be a 45-day period before EU's executive commission decides whether to start the investigations, ending in early September.

SolarWorld spearheaded a similar initiative in the U.S., leading the country to impose duties of about 31 percent on solar panel imports from China, in May. In response, China launched investigations into imported U.S. solar-grade polysilicon in mid-July.

China's solar products exports totaled 35.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, with the EU receiving a share of more than 60 percent, according to industry data.

Once the EU opens the investigations, China's solar industry will suffer a severe blow, risking output losses of 350 billion yuan (about 55 billion U.S. dollars) and 300,000 to 500,000 jobs losses, said Liang Tian, director of public relations at the Yingli Green Energy.

China's Ministry of Commerce earlier called the dumping allegations groundless, saying protectionist measures will harm the European solar industry.

"Amid global economic uncertainties, a stable free trade environment guarantees the common development of solar industries on both sides," the ministry said.

Data showed that the EU solar industry provides over 300,000 jobs for local people, and more than 80 percent are employed in the upstream and downstream industries, sectors that are most likely to be affected.

Shi Lishan, a top official at the National Energy Bureau, described the ongoing trade disputes over new energy as part of a global industrial revolution.

He also urged Chinese companies to foster the domestic market and step up power system reforms, in a bid to secure the sustainable development of new energy industries.

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