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Trade official calls on US, EU to reject protectionism

By Fu Jing  (China Daily)

13:34, October 19, 2012

A solar panel plant in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province. The United States decided to impose steep tariffs on Chinese solar panel imports, ranging from 18.32 percent to 249.96 percent, and the European Union is also investigating imports of solar products from China. [Photo/China Daily]

The European Union and the United States should not resort to protectionism to keep up with China's quick pace of economic growth, which may occur at an annual rate of 7 percent in the coming two decades, said a senior trade official.

"I am quite confident that China's huge domestic market and the further development of its western regions can sustain an annual growth rate of between 7 and 8 percent in the coming 20 years," Wang Jinzhen, vice-chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said on Thursday in Brussels.

Wang called on advanced economies to cooperate more with China instead of resorting to confrontation and trade protectionism.

Wang, who is in Brussels to attend Global Chamber Platform meetings, which bring together international and national chambers of commerce from around the world, said China's economic growth will stem mostly from its development of its western regions and its infrastructure construction, as well as its ability to unlock its market's huge purchasing potential.

Chambers of commerce throughout the world, in an annual report released in Brussels on Thursday, reached a consensus about the need for free trade and pumping energy into the real economy, the part of the economy concerning goods and services.

Wang said having a meeting of the minds is important for China's economic growth and global integration.

Wang said China isn't likely to maintain the double-digit rate of economic growth it has seen every year on average in previous decades but can grow at a "relatively fast" pace in the coming years.

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