Brussels, 4 September 2009 - EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton will visit China from the 6th to 11th of September on a trip that includes the cities of Beijing and Xiamen. She visits China to further discussions on trade and investment issues in her capacity as co-chair of the EU-China High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue (HED). Commissioner Ashton will raise issues such as barriers to investment, protection for intellectual property and cooperation on trade and investment in green technologies.

Commissioner Ashton will speak at the China International Fair for Investment and Trade while in Xiamen, and will meet with Chinese leaders in Beijing, including Vice Premier Wang Qishan and Commerce Minister Chen Deming.

Speaking ahead of the trip, Commissioner Ashton said: "The EU and China share common goals in trade and investment, including for the Doha Round and in our bilateral relationship. We must continue to build confidence in order to realise our full potential and deal effectively with any issues that arise, especially in the face of the economic downturn."

In May, Commissioner Ashton and Vice-Premier Wang Qishan co-chaired the second EU-China High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue, which is designed to set the strategic direction of the economic relationship and identify challenges and opportunities. The two sides agreed at that meeting that new trade and investment opportunities were important to recover from the economic downturn. Talks in Beijing will continue in the same spirit, focusing on the common goal of achieving a deal in the Doha Round of world trade talks, as well as identifying opportunities for further bilateral trade and investment.

Highlights of the visit

- Sunday, 6 September (Beijing): Meeting and dinner with Commerce Minister Chen Deming.

- Monday, 7 September / Tuesday, 8 September (Xiamen): China International Fair for Investment and Trade, including speech to participants (8 September).

- Tuesday, 8 September (Beijing): Dinner with EU business representatives.

- Wednesday, 9 September (Beijing):
   > Speech on EU-China relations at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE).
   > Meeting with Vice Premier Wang Qishan
   > Visit to IPR Helpdesk Beijing

- Thursday, 10 September
   > Meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi
   > Meeting with Minister of Industry and Information Technology Li Yizhong
   > Press conference at the EU Delegation


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