China, EU pledge stronger trade links at leaders' summit

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 22, 2013
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The 16th China-EU leaders' meeting had a fruitful outcome and offered prospects for stronger trade and investment between the two sides, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday.

Addressing a China-EU business summit on the sideline of the leaders' meeting, Li said he had reached an important consensus with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, and their meeting has sent to the world a strong signal of closer China-EU win-win cooperation.

As outcome of the leaders' meeting, both sides unveiled the China-Europe 2020 plan, a "roadmap" for China-Europe cooperation until 2020, launched negotiations on a free-trade agreement, and set a goal of one trillion U.S. dollars in trade by 2020.

Li called on entrepreneurs from both sides to take the opportunity to build closer trade ties.

China is to push forward reform and opening-up in an overall way, and promote sustainable and healthy development of the economy, which will bring more chances to enterprises, he said.

Li said that the country's economic growth had faced downward pressure earlier this year, but China had kept its macro economic policy stable, stopped the deficit from expanding and avoided issuing currency.

China laid stress on building a market environment for fair competition, cultivating vitality and creativity of society, making full use of private capital, which contributed to the stable growth of the economy, the premier said.

The decisions of the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee acknowledge the market's decisive role in allocating resources and urged a proper relationship between the market and the government, Li said.

Rompuy and Barroso said EU-China trade cooperation not only boosted their own development and prosperity, but also contributed to world economic recovery and growth.

They vowed to further upgrade trade and investment cooperation with China.

On Thursday, Li and the European leaders also attended the closing ceremony of the 2013 China-EU Urbanization Partnership Forum at the Great Hall of the People.

Cooperation on urbanization will be an important pillar for the overall cooperation between China and the EU, Li told over 400 Chinese and European business people at the forum.

As China is a country with a population of 1.3 billion, there is still a long way to go till modernization, Li said, adding that China should push forward with urbanization in an appropriate way, "which is a long-term, arduous and complex progress."

He said the country will respect and protect the rights of rural people as well as strive for sustainable urbanization.

The premier urged China and the EU to deepen cooperation in many ways, especially among enterprises, to jointly improve city design, public services and historical and cultural relic preservation.

The urbanization will generate immense business opportunities for European companies, Li said.

Echoing Li on the significance of cooperation on urbanization, the European leaders pledged to work together with the Chinese side in the area in a long-lasting, practical and effective way.

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