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China, EU reach deal on solar panel dispute

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-07-27 17:25

BRUSSELS - The China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products and the European Commission have reached a deal to resolve a dispute involving solar panels.

"After weeks of intensive talks, I can announce today that I am satisfied with the offer of a price undertaking submitted by China's solar panel exporters," EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said in a statement, referring to an agreement for a minimum price for China's imports.

"We found an amicable solution ... that will lead to a new market equilibrium at sustainable prices," De Gucht said.

The Commissioner said the next step for him is to table this offer for approval by the European Commission.

Further details of the legal acts concerning the undertaking arrangement can only be released following their adoption by the Commission.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce, meanwhile, said China welcomes the deal which "showcased pragmatic and flexible attitudes from both sides and the wisdom to resolve the issue."

According to the Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang, resolving the trade dispute is conducive to an open, cooperative, stable and sustainable economic and trade relationship between China and the EU.

He added that China is willing to further promote exchanges and cooperation with the EU side in the photovoltaic industry field.

Chinese solar panel production quadrupled between 2009 and 2011 to more than the entire global demand, and the Commission accused China of dumping its solar panels at below the cost of production in Europe.

The European Commission on June 4 decided to impose provisional anti-dumping duties on imports of solar panels, cells and wafers from China.

Starting from June 6, EU imports of Chinese solar products was subject to a punitive duty of 11.8 percent until August 6, from when on, the duty would have been raised to 47.6 percent if the two sides could not sort out the dispute through negotiations.

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