|China, EU extend maritime transport agreement|
|Thursday, 16 April 2009 11:05|
China and the European Union have recently signed a protocol in Brussels to extend the China-EU maritime transport agreement to all the 27 member states of the EU.
According to Xinhua, the protocol is now applicable to Bulgaria and Romania and will strengthen maritime cooperation between China and EU members.
China's Transport Minister, Li Shenglin, said China and the EU were in an important partnership and that both had placed great importance to bilateral maritime relations. He added that since the first China-EU maritime transport agreement was signed in 2002, the cooperation between nations has been successful.
Mr Li also said that the shipping sector had been greatly hit by the global financial crisis, but that China was willing to team up with European countries to tackle the crisis and to maintain stable growth in bilateral maritime trade.
Official statistics showed that trade between China and the EU realised an average growth rate of 20 percent per annum over the past three years, with over 90 percent of the bilateral trade of goods being done by sea.
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