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EU launches public consultation on EU-China trade relations

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The European Union (EU) on Monday launched a public consultation designed to form part of its forthcoming major strategic review of trade and economic relations with China.

The EU executive European Commission will invite all interested parties to comment on how the EU should manage its relationship with China in the decade to come.

The Commission's communication on the EU's trade and economic relationship with China is due to be published in the last quarter of 2006.

The rise of China as an economic power is a defining development of the early 21st century, said the Commission in a press release, adding that it will bring opportunities and challenges both for China and the rest of the world.

"China's growing market offers real new commercial opportunities for EU exporters and investors. China's own strong export capacity offers a new competitive challenge for EU producers and exporters," said the Commission.

The review would focus on "key challenges such as intellectual property, market access issues and investment opportunities" and would "spark a lively debate both within the EU and in China," said the EU's Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson.


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