China agrees to step up trade with Spain
China is willing to work with Spain to increase trade and investment between the two countries and help push the European nation towards greater growth, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said Tuesday.
Wen made the remarks to visiting Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero during a meeting in Beijing, China Central Television reported.
"China is willing to work with Spain to adopt more measures to push forward bilateral trade and sustainable mutual investment and to seek balanced growth," the report quoted Wen as saying.
China is also willing "to jointly safeguard financial market stability in the European Union and around the world and raise world confidence in the EU economy and the euro."
Wen also urged reform of the global financial system and efforts to fight trade protectionism, it said.
On Monday, Zapatero, accompanied by Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, wowed Chinese visitors at the Shanghai World Expo by bringing the FIFA World Cup.
The trophy became the latest treasure put on show in Shanghai, lining up alongside Denmark's Little Mermaid, French impressionist paintings and a Rodin sculpture, as well as a work by Italian Renaissance master Caravaggio.
Spanish exports to China have grown fourfold since 2000 to more than two billion euros (2.5 billion dollars) last year, but Chinese exports to Spain totalled 15 billion euros in 2009, according to Spanish government figures.
Spain entered its worst recession in decades at the end of 2008 as the global financial meltdown compounded a crisis in the once-booming property market, returning to growth in the first quarter this year with a gain of just 0.1 percent.
© 2010 AFP