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China-EU trade "balanced," "healthy": commerce minister

12-21-2010 21:20 BJT

BEIJING, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming said Tuesday that trade between China and the European Union (EU) is balanced and healthy.

Chen told a news briefing for the third High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue (HED) that the China-EU economic and trade relationship had recovered to the level prior to the international financial crisis in 2008.

Chen said the China-EU trade volume had increased by more than 40 billion U.S. dollars and China's trade surplus with the EU had fallen by more than 10 billion U.S. dollars for the first 10 months this year, but he did not give the exact figures for the previous year.

Taking into account China's deficit in trade in services with the EU and the revenue of EU enterprises from investment in China, trade between China and the EU was balanced and healthy, Chen said.

The EU remained China's largest trade partner, with EU-China trade increasing 33.1 percent year on year in the first 11 months to 433.88 billion U.S. dollars.

Chen called on all parties to jointly move forward negotiations for a more balanced and more open agreement from the Doha round of trade talks.

"If the negotiations can be moved forward, then China-EU trade can be boosted further," said Chen.

In 2001, members of the World Trade Organization started the Doha Round to help poor countries prosper through more trade, but the negotiations have long been stalled because of sharp differences over agricultural trade and industrial market access.

China hoped the EU could recognize China's market economy status as soon as possible and relax restrictions on high-tech goods, which would be good for Europe's own development, said Chen.

At the HED, the EU had agreed to establish a working group on high-tech trade, said Chen, and he hoped these problems would be addressed over time.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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