The European Union will allow imports of men's trousers from China to increase by 8 percent this year, with the figure climbing to 10 percent in 2006 and staying there until 2007, according to an agreement reached on Saturday between Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai and his EU counterpart Peter Mandelson.
The increased import rates of another nine categories of textiles agreed upon range from 8 to 12.5 percent. The European side said the agreement represented a common, broad and forward-looking strategy for dealing with textile imports from China.
"I am glad with this agreement because it is well balanced," EU Ambassador to China Serge Abou said Monday. The agreement allows China's textile exports to the EU to grow at a pace higher than the 7.5 percent originally considered under safeguard measures. It also gives the EU textile industry three years to adapt to changed market conditions, Abou said.
He said there was little chance of the EU enforcing safeguard measures against Chinese textiles since the most sensitive issues have been addressed by the agreement.
Abou said textiles only accounted for a small proportion of Sino-EU trade while there was much room left for trade cooperation, including technology transfers, agriculture and aviation.
The signing of the agreement has calmed the nerves of Chinese textile exporters, according to Cao Xinyu, chairman of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles (CCCT).
(China Daily June 14, 2005)