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German business leader pleads for barriers removal in China-Europe trade

2014-10-11 14:44 Xinhua Web Editor: Qin Dexing

A German business leader called for stronger free trade and an end to China-Europe trade protectionism on Friday at the Hamburg Summit.[Special coverage]

Fritz Horst Melsheimer, the president of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, said China and Europe "need more exchange and not less."

Europe and China share the same challenges, Melsheimer said, including the fight against climate change and achieving sustainable growth.

"We will not solve these problems if we create additional barriers to trade," Melsheimer stressed, adding that "these problems cannot be solved by Europe or China alone. We have to tackle these problems in a joint effort."

Over 500 participants from China and Europe will exchange views, listen to keynote speakers, and attend panel discussions on this and other topics during the summit, Melsheimer said.

"The Hamburg Chamber of Commerce firmly believes that we can successfully address these challenges only by overcoming all forms of protectionism and by further implementing free trade principles in the framework of the existing international order," he stated.

Hamburg is home to some 500 Chinese companies, making the city the unofficial European capital for Chinese business. Around one-third of shipping container traffic in the port of Hamburg involves China. Chinese economic stability and modernization is crucial for Europe, Melsheimer said.

The biennial Hamburg Summit, set up by the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce in 2004, serves as a platform for dialogue between China and Europe, with the aim of enhancing understanding and improving their economic relations. Since it was first established, the summit has developed into the main Chinese-European exchange platform for high-level political and business leaders.

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