Business / Economy

China-EU pragmatic cooperation to boost steady economic development

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-07-02 13:52

BEIJING - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's five-day Europe tour will push forward the steady, healthy development of Chinese and European economies, with the help of new ideas and approaches to the two sides' win-win cooperation and common prosperity.

Li's trip to the EU headquarters in Belgium and then to France came at a time when the deadlocked Greek debt issue cast a shadow over the future of the euro zone and Europe's economic revival.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 40 years ago, China and the European Union (EU) have witnessed rapid development of bilateral relations in various fields.

The EU has been China's largest trading partner for 11 years while China has been the EU's second-largest trading partner for 12 years. Two-way trade exceeded $600 billion in 2014.

In addition, the 28-member bloc is an important investment source for China, while Chinese enterprises' investment in the EU have also skyrocketed in recent years.

Last year, Chinese investment in the EU surpassed the bloc's investment in China for the first time.

At present, China-EU cooperation has more opportunities as China is promoting production capacity cooperation while the EU is hoping to implement a large-scale investment plan to revitalize its economy.

After over three decades of industrialization, China has accumulated significant advantages in infrastructure construction and equipment manufacturing. Cooperation in these fields with Europe will stimulate demand in both sides, and in turn provide more momentum for their economic growth.

As China is committed to comprehensively deepening reforms and the EU is restructuring itself for economic revival, Li's Europe tour has just brought a rare opportunity for expanding cooperation between the two sides.

Addressing the opening ceremony of a China-EU business summit, the premier said his country is willing to interface with the European Fund for Strategic Investment, a 315 billion euro ($352 billion) investment plan initiated by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for resuscitating Europe's economy and in particular building large infrastructure.

Seeing the China-EU relationship as one of the most important, stable and constructive relationships in the world, Li proposed combining China's comparative advantages in production capacity and equipment manufacturing with advanced technologies of European countries.

In response to the Greek debt issue, Li said during a meeting with European Parliament President Martin Schulz that China, as a firm supporter of the European integration process, is always a responsible long-term holder of European bonds and expects an adequate solution to the issue.

Expansive monetary policies are not quite enough for stimulating the sluggish economy, the premier said, encouraging both China and the EU to adopt structural reforms and enhance international production capacity cooperation so as to revitalize the real economy.

With a quarter of the world population and one-third of the global economic aggregate, China and the EU will create tremendous opportunities by conjoining the two big markets.

Analysts said that against the backdrop of a sluggish recovery of the global economy and weak market demand, China-EU cooperation has played an active role in supporting steady growth for Europe and the world at large.

As the world's two influential economies, China and the EU should join hands to contribute to boosting sustainable, balanced growth for the global economy, they said.

In the opinion of Luigi Gambardella, president of ChinaEU, a business-led international association for European and Chinese information and communications technology, the EU and China are strategic partners and their economic relationship has developed to a point where it is difficult to talk and think about one economy without the other.

"We should take advantage of the existing opportunities for cooperation from today, focusing on a positive agenda and leaving aside the past difficulties," he said.

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