European Union (EU) Trade commissioner Peter Mandelson on Thursday called for
further cooperation between Chinese and European small and medium-sized
enterprises (SMEs), saying it will make both China and EU stronger.
Mandelson made the remarks in a speech at the opening ceremony of the
EU-China Partenariat 2006 held on Thursday and Friday in Chengdu, capital of
southwest China's Sichuan province.
SMEs account for, respectively, 99 percent and 75 percent of the total number
of firms in EU countries and China, and will play a vital role in future trade
between China and European countries, the official said.
He expressed a keen interest in securing greater access to the Chinese market
for the EU's financial-service providers and SMEs.
Wan Jifei, Chairman of China International Trade Promotion Committee, said
good communication channels are essential to establishing and developing
economic relations between Europe and China. Trade fairs will help China and EU
promote business and market growth.
"SMEs are one of the principal driving forces in economic development due to
their flexibility and creativity," he said, urging firms to strengthen
cooperation in the sectors of high-technology, energy and environment
Chinese companies should attend international trade fairs to meet overseas
firms and get into international markets, said Giorgio Magistrelli, secretary
general of the EU Chamber of Commerce in China.
Trade fairs are a platform for information exchange and dialogue, and an
opportunity for Chinese SMEs to find European partners and enter the European
market, he said.
The EU-China Partenariat 2006 is the largest event in the history of Sino-EU
economic cooperation. 514 Chinese companies and more than 400 European companies
are taking part.
During the two-day event, nearly 1,000 SMEs will carry out a total of 5,000
"speed-dating dialogues" to find grounds for working together.
The trade fair is jointly sponsored by the European Commission, the China
Council for Promotion of International Trade and the Sichuan provincial