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China expects EU to become its largest trade, investment partner
( 2003-10-13 14:00) (Xinhua)

The Chinese government said Monday in a diplomatic strategy document that it expects the European Union (EU) to become China's largest trading and investment partner.

In "China's EU Policy Paper" the Chinese government issued Monday, China urges the EU to properly address irrational restrictions and technical barriers, and ease restrictions on high- tech exports in line with the WTO rules.

China also calls upon the EU to grant it a "full market economy status" at an early date, reduce and abolish anti-dumping and other discriminatory policies and practices against China, and apply the Transitional Product-Specific Safeguard Mechanism (TPSSM) prudently.

Currently the EU is China's third biggest trading partner and vice versa. Statistics show the trade volume between China and the EU hit 86.76 billion US dollars last year.

To achieve the objective of elevating into the largest trading and investment partner, the document lists up a number of measures for China-EU economic cooperation over the next five years:

-- give play to the mechanism of the economic and trade joint committee and step up economic and trade regulatory policy dialogue; give attention to updating the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement Between China and the European Union at an appropriate time; and compensate the Chinese side for its economic and trade losses which may arise due to the EU enlargement.

-- boost China-EU coordination and cooperation in the new round of WTO negotiations and work together for the success of the negotiations.

-- strengthen dialogue on investment, promote the establishment of bilateral investment-promotion institutions, energetically encourage and guide mutual investments between enterprises of the two sides, and expand cooperation between their small- and medium- sized enterprises; develop processing trade, contractual projects and labor cooperation of various kinds and encourage transnational business operation and internationalized production.

-- China welcomes more EU development aid, especially in such fields as the environmental protection, poverty-alleviation, public health and hygiene and education. China also welcomes a stronger and more active role of the EU in human resources development, in particular, personnel training for China's central and western regions and build-up of China's capacity of participating in multilateral trading regime.

-- step up cooperation in the area of quality supervision, inspection and quarantine, establish appropriate consultation mechanisms and, subject to the principle of ensuring safety, security, hygiene, health and environmental protection, promptly address and resolve issues which may adversely affect market access of each other's products.

-- boost the customs cooperation and conclude a China-EU Customs Agreement in due course.

In financial aspect, the paper says the Chinese side welcomes an expansion of China-related business by banks of the EU countries and hopes to see an appropriate settlement of the issue of Chinese financial institutions' access to the EU market.

The Chinese side will positively examine and consider applications of EU insurance institutions for business operation in China and improve its supervisory and regulatory regime in line with the Chinese insurance laws, regulations and statutes and China's WTO commitments, says the paper.

More EU securities institutions, fund management institutions and other institutional investors will be encouraged to enter into China's market, the paper adds.

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