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China-EU Trade Hits 272.3 Bln US$ in 2006

The trade volume between China and the European Union (EU) rose 25.3 percent to hit US$272.3 billion last year, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) has announced.

China-EU trade accounted for 15.5 percent of China's total foreign trade volume last year, and EU remained the top trade partner of China, according to MOC statistics issued on its website.

China's exports to EU reached US$181.98 billion last year, a rise of 26.6 percent year-on-year, and its imports from EU went up by 22.7 percent year-on-year to hit US$90.32 billion.

According to EU figures, EU's imports from China was 135.6 billion euros, 4.6 billion euros more than its imports from the United States. China has replaced the United States to become EU's largest import market.

China approved 2,738 EU-funded projects in 2006, involving a contracted EU investment of US$10.58 billion. A total of US$5.39 billion of EU funds were used last year.

As of the end of last year, China had approved an accumulated 25,418 EU-funded projects, involving a contracted EU investment of US$97.95 billion. China had used US$53.18 billion of EU funds by the end of last year, or 8 percent of total foreign funds used in China.

According to a latest survey by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, as high as 92 percent of EU enterprises which have investment in China are optimistic about their business development, six percentage points higher than in 2005.

EU has been the largest technologies provider for China and it was the top source of technology import for China in 2006.

China imported 2,597 items of technologies from EU last year, with contractual funds totaling US$8.66 billion or 39.3 percent of China's total.

The contractual funds volume was higher than that with Japan, totaling US$5.24 billion, and that with the United States, which was US$4.23 billion.

China had imported an accumulated 24.108 items of technologies from EU by the end of last year, with contractual funds of US$98.66 billion.

(Xinhua News Agency January 29, 2007)

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