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Premier Wen: Curbing trade protectionism holds key to overcoming economic crisis (01/29/09)

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Curbing trade protectionism holds the key to fighting the current global financial crisis and economic downturn, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said here Wednesday.

Trade protectionism, which seemingly protects a country's economy, would only slow the process of world economic recovery, and would actually hurt everyone, Wen said when meeting with Pascal Lamy, director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

In responding to the current international financial crisis, it is of vital importance to fighting and curbing trade protectionism, Wen said, adding that in the combat against trade protectionism, one can not talk one way and do the other.

Wen noted that China always supports the healthy and stable development of the multilateral trading system and hopes for the creation of a fair, free and convenient trading environment.

China will strictly honor its commitment as a WTO member and will not purposely seek a trade surplus, he said.

Echoing Wen's views, Lamy said the fight against trade protectionism is the key to successfully responding to with the financial turmoil.

Also on Wednesday, the second day of Wen's visit to Switzerland,the Chinese premier met with Klaus Schwab, chairman of the the World Economic forum (WEF).

At their meeting, Wen said the forum has played an important role in promoting international economic and technological exchanges and cooperation, and in fostering sound global economic and social development.

This year's Davos forum has drawn world attention as it is being held amid the severe global financial crisis, he said.

The international community should not only adopt vigorous measures to tackle the crisis, but should also ponder ways to promote healthy global economic growth in the post-crisis period, he added.

Wen expressed the hope that the international community would strengthen confidence and enhance cooperation in tiding over the crisis.

China hopes that the current annual WEF meeting would bring about friendship, hope and confidence, he said.

Noting the increasingly close cooperation between China and the WEF over the past 30 years, Wen expressed the hope that the summer meetings of the "Summer Davos Forum" held in China will play a complementary role. The first two annual meetings of the "Summer Davos Forum" were hosted by Chinese cities Dalian and Tianjin.

Schwab said China is taking active and responsible measures to deal with the global financial crisis.

The world is watching the trend of China's economic development and values China's role in leading the world out of the crisis, Schwab said.

The five-day annual WEF forum, which opened Wednesday in Davos, is focusing on the current financial crisis and other global challenges. The event has drawn more than 2,500 representatives from 96 countries, including a record 43 heads of state or government and 1,400 business leaders.

After his two-day visit to Switzerland, the Chinese premier arrived in Berlin late Wednesday at the start of an official visit to Germany.

Germany is the second leg of Wen's European tour. The trip will also take him to the European Union headquarters, Spain and Britain.



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