China-EU economic, trade relations enjoy bright future: ambassador

Updated 2018-04-28 13:09:11 Xinhua

China-EU economic and trade relations have a bright future, the Chinese ambassador to the bloc has said.

Ambassador Zhang Ming, head of the Chinese Mission to the European Union (EU) said on Wednesday that China's greater openness, the Belt and Road Initiative and huge potential on mutual investment would be driving force behind China-EU cooperation.

"China-EU economic and trade relations are now facing new opportunities,"Zhang said at a luncheon hosted by the EU-China Business Association.

He stressed the new measures that Chinese authorities announced recently, saying that "China will continue to open up."

According to the ambassador, China will further open the financial sector, all of which to be implemented by the end of this year, removing restrictions on foreign equity shares in vehicle markets, among others.

Zhang also underlined China's plan to build the southernmost province of Hainan, into a free trade zone and then a free trade port.

Starting from May 1, travelers from 59 countries, including 28 EU member states, will be able to enter and stay in Hainan without a visa for 30 days, said Zhang.

"All this shows that China's reform and opening-up is never an empty slogan, rather, it is supported by concrete actions," said Zhang, adding that China want to achieve win-win outcomes.

Apart from the new measures of opening-up, Zhang said the Belt and Road Initiative, which will help promote connectivity and infrastructure construction as well as to lower the transportation costs, will also certainly boost trade between China and the EU.

"With our joint efforts, we have achieved good progress in trade, investment and technological cooperation," Zhang said, adding that the EU is China's largest trading partner, while China is the second largest trading partner of the EU for 14 years consecutively.

"The vast Chinese market has generated huge profits for the 16,000 EU companies in China. Chinese investment in the EU has created a large number of jobs and tax revenues. China and the EU are already highly inter-dependent,"the ambassador said.

However, the current data showed that the EU investment in China only accounts for four percent of the EU's total overseas investment, while Chinese investment only takes up two percent of the foreign direct investment received by the EU.

"It is not commensurate with the big size of our economy. There is huge potential to be tapped," Zhang said.

He said that the two sides should explore more possibilities in areas such as green economy, digital economy, finance, agriculture, aviation and ocean, adding that both sides need to "follow the principles of openness, transparency, and fairness, observe the WTO rules and uphold the multilateral trading system."

China will keep its door open to European investors and expects the EU side to do the same, he added.

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