Chinese leader calls for improved EU-China trade

26th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

26 November 2004 , HAMBURG - Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan urged improved trade and commercial relations between the European Union and his country, pledging on Friday that his country would work to improve investment conditions and commercial cooperation. In the keynote speech to the first "China Meets Europe" conference in Hamburg, Zeng spoke of the "enormous potential for cooperation" and further growth in EU-Chinese commercial relations. "China is the world's biggest developing country. The EU is th

26 November 2004

HAMBURG - Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan urged improved trade and commercial relations between the European Union and his country, pledging on Friday that his country would work to improve investment conditions and commercial cooperation.

In the keynote speech to the first "China Meets Europe" conference in Hamburg, Zeng spoke of the "enormous potential for cooperation" and further growth in EU-Chinese commercial relations.

"China is the world's biggest developing country. The EU is the world's biggest economic region," the Beijing leader said. "The EU has become China's biggest trading partner." Trade so far this year had reached a volume of about EUR 100 billion.

Zeng proposed four areas where commercial relations could be improved, including ending "unreasonable" trade barriers and restrictions, greater technological cooperation, greater investment activities, and strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR).

On the issue of IPR - with China often standing accused of being a source of piracy of software and other IT technology - Zeng pledged that China would step up its efforts to crack down on piracy. He also noted that there had been cases of "cyber piracy" in some E.U. countries involving Chinese products.

In his speech, Zeng did not once mention the United States, instead focusing on the deepening ties with the EU "China and the E.U. have a lot of common ground politically," he said.

Zeng's speech kicked off two days of brainstorming among some 450 Chinese and European business and political leaders at the first-ever "Hamburg Summit" in the northern German port city.

The Chinese vice premier arrived in Hamburg after talks in Berlin on Thursday with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Finance Minister Hans Eichel and Economics Minister Wolfgang Clement.

Zeng said he and the Berlin leaders agreed that "relations are in very good shape" between Germany and China. Zeng's visit to Berlin comes amid the preparations for a trip to China by Schroeder in early December.

In the first ten months, German-Chinese trade had come to over EUR 32 billion, up 30 percent, and accounting for about one-third of China's total trade with the EU, Zeng said. He said China's economy was on course to show 9 percent growth this year.

DPA

Subject: German news

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