Chong Quan Exchanged Views with French Counterpart on China-EU Trade in PV

Chong Quan, Deputy China International Trade Representative of Ministry of Commerce, met on September 17 in Paris with Luc Rousseau, Director General for Competitiveness, Industry and Services of the Ministry for Economy and Industry of France, and conduct consultation on the anti-dumping probe initiated by European Union regarding photovoltaic imports from China.

Chong said the government and PV industry of China pay high attention to EU’s move to begin an anti-dumping investigation into Chinese PV products. The case involves up to a thousand Chinese corporations and several hundred thousands of jobs. In fact, in PV industrial chain, China and EU is highly complementary, which is the result of economic globalization and international industrial diversification. Therefore, China and EU’s PV industries are closely related, and the interests of European enterprises will be undermined if EU restricts China’s PV industry and hurts China’s PV industry.

Chong pointed out that it is groundless to claim there is a dumping of PV cells from China. Price of polysilicon imports, the major raw material for PV cells keeps going down, which brings about a down-going price of PV cells. Meanwhile, in recent years, China’s PV industry attaches importance to technology advancement and large-scale production, which further brings down the production costs. This is the main reason for China’s PV cells’ competitive price. Since the financial crisis broke out, PV industry in all countries is facing challenges and bankruptcy, and China is no exception. To overcome the difficulties, China and EU’s PV industries should strengthen cooperation and transform crisis into opportunities.

Chong said that the development of China and EU’s PV industries makes it impossible for us to separate one from the other, and China-EU trade and economic relations are interdependent and mutually beneficial. China hopes to address China-EU trade disputes through dialogues and cooperation instead of conflicts such as restrictions, and join efforts with France to help enterprises of the two sides to deal with current difficulties and challenges through cooperation. With sound bilateral relations, China and France have established overall strategic partnership and are mutually important trading partners. However, three ministers of France made public declaration that they support the EU to file a case to investigate into China’s PV products. China is highly concerned about the issue, and hopes France can hold a long-term view and a fair attitude, and play a positive role in the EU to support China and EU to solve PV trade friction through dialogue and consultation, and maintain the healthy development of China-EU trade and economic relations.

Rousseau said he understands very well the concerns of China. France has always been opposing trade protectionism, sticking to consensus reached by leaders at the G20 Summit, and advocating solving trade disputes among countries firstly by dialogue and collaboration. France values relationship with China. Foundation of France-China trade and economic relations is good and its future development potential is huge. Dialogue and trust has always been the principle for France to develop trade and economic relations with China. When EU conducts investigation into China’s PV products according to procedure, France will closely see to it, so as to prevent the normal trade probe procedure transferring into trade protectionism. He expressed expectation to continue the in-depth, concrete and practical communication at the France-China trade and economic joint committee meeting to be held at the end of this year.

France is the last stop for the Chinese government delegation headed by Chong Quan, who visited Europe for negotiations concerning EU’s anti-dumping investigation against China’s PV products. He had previously visited Berlin and Brussels, holding talks with German economy ministry officials and European Commission’s Director General for Trade, and positive consensus had been achieved in these consultations.

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