Brussels, 20 July 2010 - EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht will open ’Trade Days’ in the European Pavilion at Expo 2010 in Shanghai on Thursday 22nd July. The two-day event will show-case the importance of developing trade links between the EU and China. Leading European business people and international academics will exchange viewpoints on EU-China trade relations and host a tasting of quality traditional food products from Europe.
"I see enormous possibilities for European businesses in China but bringing these to life is not a given", said Commissioner De Gucht. "I want to dismantle the barriers to greater economic integration and to realise the opportunities that trade can bring. In today's world, Europe and China are inter-dependent so partnership and a shared responsibility must go hand in hand."
The Commissioner will give a keynote speech in which he will emphasise the potential of doing business with China and the issues that need to be addressed to sustain business in the long term. The other keynote speaker is the Vice-Minister of Commerce of People's Republic of ChinaGoa Hucheng. Other speakers include high-level representatives of leading European companies doing business in China and professors from the most prominent European and Chinese universities and business schools.
The event also includes a "Geographical Indicators" tasting session where participants can sample the diversity of top-quality European regional food and drink specialities. The EU and China have agreed to help develop exchanges of quality traditional products protected through geographical indications (such as Champagne and Longjing tea) and therefore have launched negotiations on the protection of geographical indications.
Commissioner De Gucht's programme in China will also include a meeting with European business representatives to discuss current experiences of investing in China.
The EU at the Shanghai Expo
The Trade Days on 22 & 23 July 2010 will take place in the wider context of the Commission's participation in the whole Shanghai EXPO from May to September.
As the EU is China's main economic partner, the European Commission has accepted the invitation to participate in the event. It shares its pavilion with Belgium, who is currently holding the EU Presidency. The EU pavilion expects 30 000 visitors per day, more than 5 million overall.
China is the biggest exporter in the global economy accounting for about 11 % of world trade in goods. China was the first major economy to rebound effectively from the crisis and is on track to become the world's second largest national economy in 2010.
EU-China trade in goods was €296 billion (2009) and €31 billion in services (2009).
Europe imported €215 billion worth of goods from China in 2009 and is thus the biggest source of manufactured imports into the EU.
China is Europe's fastest growing export market, accounting for €82 billion exported goods in 2009.