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Wen tells EU that China will address trade issues

By: | at 08:00 PM | International Trade  

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao promised Europe that China was dealing with issues related to its rapid economic growth, such as ensuring intellectual-property rights, and would work to tackle its huge trade surplus with the 25-member European Union.

Mr. Wen, at the one-day EU-China Business Summit on Sept. 12, said that the EU’s trade gap with his country was mostly caused by international manufacturers moving to China but vowed to address European worries.

EU imports from China rose 24% to 158 billion ($200.69 billion) in 2005 from a year earlier, and the EU’s trade deficit reached 106 billion.

Mr. Wen told the summit that 81% of that deficit came from foreign companies using China as a production base.

‘Because of the international transfer of industry, international trade flows are undergoing massive changes,’ Mr. Wen said. ‘Simply using the current rules on product origin to quantify cannot fully reflect the true state of trade interests.’

Mr. Wen also said he would heed widespread European concerns about the protection of intellectual-property rights.

A recent study by the European Chamber of Commerce in China found that 48% of respondent businesses said intellectual-property rights was a big problem for them in China.

Mr. Wen’s visit came on the heels of a two-day gathering of Asian and European leaders in Helsinki. (Dow Jones & Company, Inc.)