José Manuel Durão Barroso
President of the European Commission
Introductory remarks by President Barroso at the EU-China Summit
20 September 2012
Premier Wen! It is a pleasure to host you here today, together with the Chinese delegation!
The EU-China relationship is currently characterised by momentum and dynamism. 10 years after you took office and almost 10 years after the launching of our Strategic Partnership it is appropriate to look at our common achievements.
In the last 10 years China has grown spectacularly. It is certainly one of the biggest transformations in the word’s history.
And, over the 10 summits you have participated – of which I had the pleasure to participate in 8 – we have advanced on the path of co-operation, mutual understanding and trust. You have been a constant supporter of European integration and of the consolidation of China's ties with the EU. For its part, the EU has been a supporter of China’s development. Indeed European investment, European technology and European openness to trade have given a very important contribution to China's growth, and we have always sought to establish and to deepen a solid partnership with China. A partnership based in mutual respect and mutual benefit, indeed a partnership based on the spirit of friendship. It is in this spirit of friendship we are able to discuss all issues - those on which we agree and those on which we do not always agree.
In the last 10 years our trade in goods increased by 280%, our trade in services by 380%, and our direct investment in China by 290%. The complementarities and synergies between our economies have been used to good effect.
But, our co-operation has also developed into many other areas, ranging from science to space and energy to environment. And not only is this cooperation among the governments and the European institutions but it also covers other fields like the business dialogue, like the dialogue at the mayors forum, so indeed engaging also the civil societies and promoting people to people contacts between China and Europe.
Indeed, the EU-China relationship has become a showcase; it demonstrates how two major partners can work together and build a solid partnership in a multi-polar world.
So I am looking forward this Summit, and I believe that this Summit will reinforce our relationship – a relation based on a spirit of respect, mutual benefit and friendship also confirming the future direction for our Strategic Partnership.
I thank you.