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Brussels, 11 April 2002

European Commissioner Erkki Liikanen on official visit to China

EU support for China's economic and social reform and efforts to implement its World Trade Organisation (WTO) commitments is being reaffirmed by Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen, in a five-day visit to China this week. The visit should impart new impetus to the Commission's ongoing enterprise policy and regulatory dialogue with China, in which they share ideas on how best to improve the regulatory framework for business. China is undertaking a wide range of social and economic reforms that steer the country towards a market-driven economy. Its WTO membership agreement, clinched at the end of 2001, provides for the elimination of quantitative restrictions on imports of various industrial products from China, including ceramics and footwear, over the next few years and is opening up unprecedented business opportunities for both China and its trading partners.

"The EU is committed to work in partnership with China and assist the country as far as possible in its socio-economic reform process. The reform of State Owned Enterprises, the promotion of SMEs, the establishment of a sound regulatory framework for business and the transfer of know-how and technology in the private sector are of particular importance. China is experiencing a booming development of markets linked to Information and Communication Technologies. We should therefore also strengthen our co-operation with China in the field of Information Society " noted Commissioner Liikanen.

During his visit Commissioner Liikanen will hold talks with Minister Li Rongrong of the State Economic and Trade Commission (SETC), and Minister Li Chanjiang of the State General Administration for Quality Supervision and Quarantine (AQSIQ).

He will visit the European Chamber of Commerce in China (EUCCC) in Beijing and a European factory in Shanghai, where he will inaugurate a new EUCCC office and an EU/WTO seminar series. He is also scheduled to meet the CEO of China Mobile and to visit the premises of the Volkswagen car plant. He will also attend a Telecoms Regulatory Workshop, co-organised by the European Commission and the Ministry of Information Industry.

Finally, Commissioner Liikanen will attend the Euro-China Co-operation Forum on Information Society (Beijing, April 16-20). High-level Chinese and European officials, entrepreneurs, businessmen and scientists will be attending the Forum, jointly organised by the European Commission and the Chinese Ministries of Science & Technology and of Information Industry.

It includes :

  • an exhibition of European know-how (with more than 150 European exhibitors)

  • a high level conference with discussions and presentations on projects, policies and R&D priorities

  • a "cooperation agora", to foster collaboration between European companies and research institutions and their Chinese counterparts.

Mr Liikanen will open the conference and exhibition together with Science & Technology Minister Xu Guanhua and Information Industry Minister Wu Jichuan.

For more information:

EU relations with China:

EU international cooperation in the field of Information Society:

Euro-China Co-operation Forum on the Information Society:

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