Amicable deal shows strong EU-China trade basis

Updated: 2013-07-29 09:47


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BRUSSELS - China and the European Union (EU) agreed on an amicable solution Saturday to end their dispute over solar panels, showing that a strong basis for trade cooperation between them will not be disturbed by trade conflicts, even in the important industry.

After weeks of intensive talks, the EU was finally satisfied with an offer of a price undertaking by China's solar panel exporters. It may bring an 11.8-percent punitive duty on Chinese solar products to an end, relieving both Chinese and the EU's manufacturers in solar industry.

As an unfortunate illustration of the impact of preliminary duties, Gehrlicher Solar AG, one of the oldest companies in the European solar industry, announced on July 9 that it had filed for insolvency.

The closure was a "direct consequence of EU-wide introduction of anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese modules and the resulting deterioration of market conditions in Europe," Alliance for Affordable Solar (AFASE) said.

Chinese manufacturers can avoid a huge loss from punitive duties, which could rise to 47.6 percent in August if the two sides could not sort out their dispute through negotiations.

Protectionism can not help companies cast off sluggish growth. According to recent EU reports, imposing punitive duties on foreign exporters in some industry only has limited good effects on EU companies as the macro-economy is in stagnation.

Meanwhile, enhancing China-EU trade ties and abandoning protectionism will be good for both sides.

The EU is China's most important trading partner, while China is the EU's second largest trade partner following the United States. Leaders of China and the EU have expressed their willingness to settle the solar panel dispute through negotiations, which currently is a major issue in bilateral economic and trade relations.

China's Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang has said that China and the EU should find proper solutions to trade frictions, and it will benefit both sides to settle the solar panel dispute through dialogues.

Both sides handled the solar panel issue with caution and wisdom, showcasing a strong cooperation necessity and basis between the EU and China.

As the outlook for world economy remains uncertain, for the debt-ridden EU and growth-slowing China, it may be the best and only way to work together to gain a sustainable and green growth, a desire of both sides.