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EU's Barnier calls for equal treatment in China

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EU's Barnier calls for equal treatment in China

Michel Barnier-Xie Xuren - Photo EC

(BEIJING) - European Commissioner Michel Barnier urged China Tuesday to open its financial and insurance markets to companies from Europe and allow them equal treatment in the world's second largest economy.

Barnier, who is in charge of Europe's internal market, urged greater access and fair treatment for European companies in meetings with Chinese Finance Minister Xie Xuren and central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan.

He specifically urged China to allow European firms more access to China's banking and insurance sectors, especially in motor and natural disaster insurance, and the bond market, he said.

European "enterprises should enjoy the same treatment in China that Chinese enterprises enjoy in Europe, neither more nor less," he said.

"The word 'reciprocity' is not a bad word. In Brussels we are now even more determined to address this subject.

"Given the weight of China on one side and Europe on the other side, the bilateral relation should be even stronger than it is," Barnier told journalists following his talks.

"Our interest is to build a stronger more balanced relationship."

Barnier said that counterfeit products mainly from Asia and China had "destroyed 200,000 jobs in Europe," but that during his meetings in Beijing he had met "people very determined to fight counterfeiting."

EU relations with China

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