Summit to stress strength amid shadow of protectionism
China and Europe are aiming to work together to boost free trade and foster greater global economic integration, despite the current backdrop of increased trade protectionism, industry insiders say.
Ties between China and Europe, as well as their relations with the United States, will be one of the most important topics for the 8th "Hamburg Summit: China meets Europe" conference, which will be held in Hamburg, Germany from Nov 26-27.
Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He will attend the conference as a guest of honor. A high-level Chinese delegation of more than 60 people will attend the summit. They are mainly from companies in sectors including petrochemical industry, automobile, electricity, transportation and environment protection.
While protectionism is casting a shadow over the global economy and might gradually create profound changes in industrial distribution, China and Europe, who are both firm supporters of global free trade and economic integration, should strengthen their economic exchanges, said Xiong Meng, executive vice-president of the China Federation of Industrial Economics, at a news conference for the summit in Beijing on Wednesday.
"Trade, investment and technology cooperation between China and Europe has been growing quickly," he said. "At present, both sides need more than ever to have open dialogue, and bring new vitality to global free trade and economic development."
Open and confident
Xiong said that China has been more open and confident on the global stage in the past few years and have provided many platforms to strengthen global cooperation, citing an example of the China International Import Expo in Shanghai earlier this month.
He expected to see more creative solutions and more innovations at the Hamburg summit.
Lars Anke, chief representative of the Hamburg Laision Office China, said that free trade is what Germany has been supporting.
Amidst a difficult economic environment in both China and Europe, an important issue that will be discussed at the summit is how to achieve global economic integration based on free trade and open economy, and where could both sides find mutual interest, he said.
The Hamburg Summit is a high-level bilateral business conference fostering China-Europe relations, where business, political and academic leaders meet to discuss topics of mutual interest.
Other issues that will be discussed at the summit including China and Europe's cooperation in the green economy sector and under China's Belt and Road Initiative.
China has been Germany's biggest trading partner since 2016. In 2017 alone, the bilateral trade volume amounted to more than 187 billion euros ($213 billion), according to Hamburg Chamber of Commerce.
More than 550 Chinese companies have offices in Hamburg, and about 900 businesses in the German city are engaged in trade with China.
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