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EU, China should look beyond trade irritants: European Commission economist

(Xinhua)

15:37, September 17, 2011

TIANJIN, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Economic ties between the European Union and China constitute a key component of a sustainable global recovery, and the two should work to look beyond short-term trade irritants, said a European Commission economist at a five-day forum that ended Saturday.

Lucian Cernat, chief economist of the European Commission, said China is the fastest growing market for EU trade and an important destination of the bloc's foreign direct investment, while the EU remains the biggest market for Chinese exports.

"We have to avoid being sidetracked by short-term trade irritants and pursue common systemic objectives in the WTO (World Trade Organization)," Cernat added.

The economist cited a recent EU opinion survey in which 65 percent of the respondents believe the EU has benefited significantly from international trade, and 64 percent think that in the coming years trade will benefit more emerging economies like Brazil, China and India.

Cernat said the EU and China are growing highly interdependent, and the EU will focus on a long-term agenda that entails strengthening bilateral priorities in investment, services, intellectual property rights and technology, sustainability and global governance.

The forum, China-Europe People-to-People Dialogue on Friendship and Cooperation -- Cooperation across Time and Space, was organized by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries in Tianjin along with local authorities to boost non-governmental exchanges between the EU and China.

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