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Wen vows new EU trade trip

PREMIER Wen Jiabao said yesterday that China will soon send another buying mission to the European Union to increase imports from the region.

The Chinese trade mission sent to the EU immediately after Wen's European tour in January produced positive results, he told reporters at the end of the 11th China-EU summit in Prague.

"China is ready to work with the EU to further promote mutual investment, enhance cooperation in small and medium-sized enterprises, trade facilitation, science and technology, transportation and postal services, in an attempt to fight all forms of trade and investment protectionism," Wen said.

He expressed the hope that the EU will loosen export restrictions on high-tech products and nurture growth in trade cooperation. Wen also asked the EU to recognize China as a market economy and lift its arms embargo.

The global financial crisis was a focal point at the summit, he said, adding that China and the EU have converging interests and broad consensus on the issue. China and the EU should work together for the recovery of the world economy, Wen said.

The EU is China's largest trading partner. Last year, bilateral trade amounted to US$425.6 billion. In the past five years, EU exports to China have increased at an annual rate of over 20 percent, making China one of the most important export markets for the EU, Wen said.


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