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Finance ministers from Asia and Europe discuss globalization


Effects of bird flu, unfair competition and oil prices as specific issues

Vienna - The meeting of finance ministers, or their deputies, from the 25 EU states and 13 selected Asian countries (ASEM meeting) in Vienna is about globalization. Specific issues are likely to be unfair competition from a European perspective, the use of energy resources, but also a possible bird flu pandemic. The two-day meeting ends at noon on Sunday.

Finance Minister Karl-Heinz Grasser (V), who hosts the EU Finance Council as chairman, emphasized at the start of the event that it was about convincing and not exerting pressure. On Saturday he warned of unfair trade practices, "predatory pricing", dumping, theft of know-how and the excessive exploitation of manpower and natural resources. However, open markets are necessary to create growth and fight unemployment.

Starting this weekend, the EU will levy punitive tariffs on shoes from China and Vietnam, as Europeans believe that they will be thrown on the market at prices that do not cover their costs. The Europeans also complain about excessive Chinese import tariffs for auto parts and want to take action against this at the WTO. In the past year, the sharp rise in textile imports from the Middle Kingdom caused considerable unrest in European textile countries such as Italy. The EU reintroduced quota restrictions for some products. (APA)

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