China Seeks to Boost Trade With EU to $1 Trillion by 2020

China and Europe started talks on an investment agreement and aim to boost bilateral trade to $1 trillion by 2020, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said.

China and Europe will also discuss the feasibility of a free-trade agreement and will have more cooperation in areas of transportation, infrastructure as well as science and technology innovation, Li said today at a China-EU summit in Beijing, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. Li spoke after meeting with European Union President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Barroso.

“All these moves will significantly boost bilateral trade and economic cooperation,” Li said. “The plan is unprecedented in its breadth of content, ranging from aerospace and counter-piracy to urbanization and energy.”

The aim of $1 trillion in bilateral trade would represent an 83 percent increase from last year, when China-EU trade totaled $546 billion, according to the Chinese Customs Office website.

China supported Chinese companies to invest and do businesses in Europe and hopes Europe can further loosen restrictions on high-technology product exports to China, Xinhua said in a separate report today, citing Premier Li.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who met with Van Rompuy and Barroso yesterday, was cited by Xinhua as saying the two sides should expand cooperation in trade and investment while opposing protectionism and promoting the development of an open global economy.

— With assistance by Shidong Zhang

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