Top European politician calls for closer ties
Updated: 2013-03-18 00:39
By Tuo Yannan in Brussels (China Daily)
A leading European politician has called for greater cooperation between Beijing and Brussels.
Jerzy Buzek, former European parliament president and Polish prime minister, was speaking after China's new leaders were formally appointed at the annual session of the country's top legislature.
Buzek noted that the EU and China share common interests, including energy and new technology. "We need cooperation," he said.
He said the environment for investment in China is ripe: "A lot of investment from China is expected by the EU, and I am sure in China our European companies could invest a lot."
Poland launched its "Go China" strategy this month. The country is strategically located in central-eastern Europe and is the driving force for that area.
"We can be the entry point for all European countries, also for Russia," Buzek said.
He said that means Poland and China could be strategic partners. Polish companies are ready to explore the Chinese market, and Poland also has a big pool of well-educated talent for Chinese companies that want to open businesses in the nation.
Poland, the first country in central-eastern Europe to exceed $10 billion in trade volume with China, has been China's biggest trade partner in the region for seven years.
He said the two countries have already built a solid political relationship, demonstrated by the visit by Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski to China in 2011, and the reciprocal visit of China's then premier, Wen Jiabao, in April 2012.
In 2011, Komorowski and then president Hu Jintao signed a joint declaration on establishing a strategic partnership between Poland and China. The cooperation between the two countries goes back to the 1950s. The first Chinese-Polish joint stock shipping company Chipolbrok was established in 1951.
According to Chinese customs statistics, China-Poland trade in 2012 reached a record-high of $14.38 billion, a year-on-year growth of approximately 10.7 percent compared to import and export totals of the previous year.
However, China's exports to Poland accounted for $12.39 billion compared to imports from Poland standing at almost $2 billion.
Trade between the countries surged fourfold from 2003 to last year's figure of $546 billion. In 2012, EU investment in China reached more than $6 billion, while the number was $3.4 billion from China to the EU.
Buzek said that Poland needs products not only made in China but invented in China.
"From our point of view, we've got many new technologies in some areas which should be very important for Chinese in the future," he said. The two countries can cooperate in many new fields such as steel and chemical industries, not only existing ones such as mining and food products, he added.