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Leaders oppose trade barriers

By LI JIABAO (China Daily)

09:15, April 26, 2013

Leaders from China and France jointly stressed an anti-protectionism stance while calling for moves to facilitate mutual investment.

"We expect to resolve the problems emerging from cooperation through negotiations, and trade remedy measures should be used very prudently because what we want is a win-win result rather than losses on both sides," President Xi Jinping said at the closing ceremony of the China-France Economic Forum on Thursday.

Xi added that protectionism will not help the economic recovery in Europe or the world, nor will it benefit economic ties between China and France.

"We expect prudent resolutions to practical issues including market access, policy transparency and intellectual property protection so as to facilitate bilateral trade and investments," Xi said.

"Meanwhile, we hope China and France strengthen investment promotions and jointly advance the launching of talks for a China-Europe investment pact as soon as possible to reduce investment barriers, which will facilitate investments between China and France as well as China and Europe."

The European Union announced in November that it will investigate alleged government subsidies for Chinese solar panel manufacturers, in addition to an investigation started in September into China's alleged "dumping" of such products in European markets. A preliminary ruling is expected in early June.

The China-EU solar trade dispute will affect more than 400,000 Chinese workers, and "an improper handling of the case will definitely impact China-EU trade ties severely", said Chong Quan, deputy international trade representative with the Ministry of Commerce, in late March.

French President Francois Hollande, who started his first official visit to China on Thursday, said during the ceremony that he "firmly opposes protectionism in resolving trade imbalances".

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