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Prodi: China and EU To Have World’s Biggest Trade Ties

The president of the European Commission said Thursday he predicts China and the EU will have the biggest trade relationship in the world during a visit of the Chinese premier to Brussels.

European Commission President Romano Prodi has predicted that China and the EU will have the biggest trade relationship in the world. Prodi’s comments could signal a shift in geopolitical focus -- a move to diversify away from the transatlantic partnership that has traditionally been seen as Europe’s most important trade relationship. During a visit to Brussels by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Prodi said he "would bet that the EU-China trade relationship will be the single biggest in the world." EU-US ties currently top the world’s bilateral trade league and have a turnover of about €240 billion each year. To reach this level EU-China trade would have to almost double. After Thursday's meeting, both Prodi and the Chinese premier were keen to drive home how much the relationship is growing, pointing to the five trade and technology agreements signed today by the two sides as examples. Both men described the relationship as "a strategic partnership" and Wen called for "a strategic dialogue to further bilateral relations." To that end Prodi announced Thursday that officials will be drawing up ideas for a "completely new agreement" between the EU and China to reflect what he called "the new level of relations." ( EUobserver.com)

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