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"This is because China has become the most important export market in Asia for European machine tool builders," said Filip Geerts, director general of CECIMO, on Tuesday. This is the organization's first joint exhibition.
Almost 20 percent of the foreign sales of CECIMO countries in 2012 were shipped to China, which consumed 45 percent of global machine tools last year, said Geerts.
CECIMO consists of 15 national associations of machine tool builders, representing 1,500 industrial enterprises in Europe. It covers more than 99 percent of total machine tool production in Europe and 31 percent worldwide.
Chinese imports from CECIMO countries were worth 3.7 billion euros ($4.82 billion) in 2012 compared to 3.3 billion euros in 2011.
CECIMO countries imported 348 million euros of machine tools from China in the same year, making China the fourth-biggest overseas supplier to Europe, Geerts said.