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China to send new buying mission to EU
Updated: 2009-05-21 00:00

PRAGUE -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced Wednesday that China will shortly send another buying mission to the European Union (EU) to increase imports from Europe.

The Chinese trade promotion mission sent to the EU immediately after Wen's European tour in January had produced positive results, Wen told reporters at the end of the 11th summit between China and the European Union (EU).

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"China is ready to work with the EU to further promote mutual investments, enhance cooperation in small- and medium-sized enterprises, trade facilitation, science and technology, transportation and post, in an attempt to fight all forms of trade and investment protectionism," said Wen.

He expressed the hope that the EU will loosen control over export restrictions on high-tech products and nurture new growth potential in economic and trade cooperation in order to further promote China-EU trade.

Wen also asked the EU to recognize China's market economy status and to lift its arms embargo.

The global financial crisis was a focal issue at the summit, he said, adding that China and the EU have converging interests and broad consensus on this issue.

In the face of the crisis, China and the EU should work together and contribute to early recovery of the world economy, said Wen.

The EU is China's largest trading partner. Last year, bilateral trade amounted to US$425.6 billion. In the past five years, EU exports to China have increased at an annual rate of over 20 percent, making China one of the most important export markets for the EU, said Wen.

Wen arrived here on Wednesday for the China-EU summit, the top-level mechanism for political consultations between the two sides.

The 11th summit was originally set for last December, but was postponed due to a meeting in Poland between the Dalai Lama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose country was then holding the rotating EU presidency.