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September 11, 2009

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Powering ties on clean energy

THE Netherlands will develop closer ties with China in the research and production of clean energy and will continue to support free trade, a Dutch minister said yesterday in Shanghai.

"Renewable energy represents the future," Minister of Economic Affairs Maria van der Hoeven said in an exclusive interview with Shanghai Daily.

"China has taken a leading role in some respects, and the Netherlands is also strong in the sector," she said. "We can complement each other in many areas."

Van der Hoeven attended ceremonies marking closer commercial agreements between at least four Chinese and Dutch energy companies during her trip to China this week. She also visited an international trade fair in the southeastern city of Xiamen, Fujian Province.

She told Shanghai Daily that China will send a business delegation to the Netherlands at the end of this month to seek further bilateral investment opportunities, especially in green energy.

Asked about concerns that the world recession will usher a new wave of trade restrictions, van der Hoeven said the Netherlands opposes protectionism in any form.

"There are always differences in interests, but we should not allow them to develop into trade conflicts because it does not benefit anybody," van der Hoeven said.

Van der Hoeven said she hopes China would buy more goods from the Netherlands to correct the trade imbalance.


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